How long can you have hep C before knowing?

People who have been very recently infected with HCV might not yet have developed antibody levels high enough to be detected by the anti-HCV test. The window period for acute HCV infection before the detection of antibodies averages 8 to 11 weeks, with a reported range of 2 weeks to 6 months.

How long can hep C go undetected?

After exposure to the hepatitis C virus, it can take 8–11 weeks for an HCV antibody test to be positive. For most people who are infected, the anti-HCV blood test will become positive by 6 months after exposure.

Can you have hep C for years and not know?

Long-term infection with the hepatitis C virus is known as chronic hepatitis C. Chronic hepatitis C is usually a "silent" infection for many years, until the virus damages the liver enough to cause the signs and symptoms of liver disease.

What are the 1st signs of Hep C?

Most people who are recently infected with HCV do not have symptoms. Some people have yellowing of the skin (jaundice). Chronic infection often causes no symptoms. But fatigue, depression and other problems can occur.

How long does it take Hep C to cause damage?

After many years some people will have minimal liver damage with no scarring while others can progress to cirrhosis (extensive scarring of the liver) within less than ten years. On average it takes about twenty years for significant liver scarring to develop.

From Cirrhosis to a Hepatitis C Cure | William's Story

Can your body fight hep C off?

In 15-40% of persons with acute hepatitis C, the immune system successfully fights off the infection, the virus is cleared from the body within 6 months, and the liver heals completely.

Can your body cure hep C on its own?

Like the human papillomavirus (HPV), early acute hepatitis C can clear on its own without treatment; this happens about 25% of the time. However, it's more likely that the virus will remain in your body longer than six months, at which point it's considered to be chronic hepatitis C infection.

What are red flags of hep C?

Some people experience abdominal pain, loss of appetite, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, dark urine, or jaundice (yellowing of skin and eyes).

What are the 4 stages of hep C?

stage 1: mild fibrosis without walls of scarring. stage 2: mild to moderate fibrosis with walls of scarring. stage 3: bridging fibrosis or scarring that has spread to different parts of the liver but no cirrhosis. stage 4: severe scarring, or cirrhosis.

Is hep C considered an STD?

Sexual Transmission and Hepatitis C

Although not common, hepatitis C can be transmitted through sexual activity. Having a sexually transmitted infection, having sex with multiple partners, and engaging in anal sex appear to increase a person's risk for hepatitis C.

How does hep C make you feel?

Some of the most common problems experienced by people with chronic hepatitis C include: feeling tired all the time. joint and muscle aches and pain. feeling sick.

Can you test positive for hep C and not have it?

If you test positive for hepatitis C antibodies, this means you have been infected with hepatitis C at some point in your life. You may have acute or chronic hepatitis C. You may not have hepatitis C at all. You can still test positive for hepatitis C antibodies, but not have an active case of hepatitis C.

What does it mean when hep C is undetected?

An undetectable or negative RNA test result means you do not have hep C. Your body has cleared the infection on its own or you were successfully treated and cured. This does not mean that you cannot get hep C again. If you engage in high risk activities, be sure to get tested again in 6 months.

What are the first signs of Hep C in females?

Early symptoms of hepatitis C in women can include: fatigue. abdominal discomfort. muscle and joint pain.
Symptoms of chronic hepatitis and liver damage include:
  • bruising or bleeding.
  • itchy skin.
  • fluid retention in the stomach.
  • swollen legs.
  • unexplained weight loss.
  • spider veins.
  • confusion.

How soon after exposure to Hep C are you contagious?

When and for how long is a person able to spread hepatitis C? Persons with acute hepatitis C virus infection are generally contagious from one or more weeks before the onset of symptoms. The contagious period is indefinite in chronically infected persons.

What does hep C urine look like?

Dark-colored urine (pee) Grey-colored bowel movements. Pain in your joints. Jaundice (having yellow-colored skin or eyes)

What does hep C stool look like?

The most common early symptoms are mild fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Later symptoms may include dark coffee-colored rather than dark yellow urine, clay-colored stools, abdominal pain, and yellowing of the skin and/or whites of the eyes (jaundice).

Does Hep C always show in blood test?

► Once people have been infected, they will always have antibodies in their blood. This is true if they have cleared the virus, have been cured, or still have the virus in their blood. ► A reactive antibody test does not necessarily mean that you currently have hepatitis C and a follow-up test is needed.

What does hep C do to your legs?

Inflammation in your liver caused by hepatitis C and later scarring can block blood flow to the area. Without healthy blood flow, your liver cells start to die. This lack of circulation can also make your legs or belly swell. You may also bleed and bruise more easily.

What is the main cause of hep C?

Hepatitis C is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Hepatitis C is spread through contact with blood from an infected person. Today, most people become infected with the hepatitis C virus by sharing needles or other equipment used to prepare and inject drugs.

Are you always hep C positive?

A reactive or positive antibody test means you have been infected with the hepatitis C virus at some point in time. Once people have been infected, they will always have antibodies in their blood. This is true if they have cleared the virus, have been cured, or still have the virus in their blood.

Can you get hep C from stress?

Stress doesn't cause the disease, of course -- an infection with the hepatitis C virus does that. And the disease doesn't mean you're more likely to feel stress than someone without it, says Paul J. Rosch, a clinical professor of medicine and psychology at the New York Medical College.

Can you get hep C without touching blood?

You can become infected with hepatitis C if you come into contact with the blood of an infected person. Other bodily fluids can also contain the virus, but blood contains the highest level of it. Just a small trace of blood can cause an infection.

Where do you hurt with hep C?

Pains in the upper part of the abdomen

Many people with chronic HCV suffer from aches and pains in their joints. A variety of different joints can be involved but the most common are in the hands and wrists. These pains are often minor but occasionally the pain can be quite severe.

Can you get hep C from giving oral?

Can you pass hepatitis C through other types of sexual contact, such as oral and anal sex? Hepatitis C for Patients. There is no proof that anyone has ever spread the virus through oral sex, although it may be possible. Anal sex may damage the lining of the rectum and make it easier to pass the virus through the blood.