The CDC made a recommendation that all baby boomers receive Hepatitis C testing*.
In the US, it is estimated that 1-1.5% are living with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. People born during 1945–1965 account for approximately three fourths of all chronic HCV infections among adults in the US. There are effective treatments available for HCV, but most people do not know they are infected and therefore do not receive the necessary care.
As recommended by the CDC:
- Adults born during 1945–1965 should receive one-time testing for HCV without prior ascertainment of HCV risk (Strong Recommendation, Moderate Quality of Evidence),
- All persons identified with HCV infection should receive a brief alcohol screening and intervention as clinically indicated, followed by referral to appropriate care and treatment services for HCV infection and related conditions (Strong Recommendation, Moderate Quality of Evidence).
HCV testing is the first step toward improving health outcomes for persons infected with HCV.
Causes and risk factors
People who may be at risk for hepatitis C are those who:
- Have been on long-term kidney dialysis
- Have regular contact with blood at work, such as health care workers
- Have unprotected sexual contact with a person who has hepatitis C (this risk is much less common than hepatitis B, but the risk is higher for those who have many sex partners, already have a sexually transmitted disease, or are infected with HIV)
- Inject street drugs or share a needle with someone who has hepatitis C
- Received a blood transfusion before July 1992
- Received a tattoo or acupuncture with contaminated instruments
- Received blood, blood products, or solid organs from a donor who has hepatitis C
- Share personal items such as toothbrushes and razors with someone who has hepatitis C (less common)
- Were born to a hepatitis C-infected mother (this occurs in about 1 out of 20 babies born to mothers with HCV, which is much less common than with hepatitis B)
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