Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C, sometimes called hep C or HCV, is a virus that is carried in the blood and body fluids which infects and damages the liver.

Facts about Hepatitis C

It is not known for sure how many people in the UK have hepatitis C, but it is estimated that around 400,000 people may be infected. Worldwide, more than 200 million people are estimated to be chronically infected.
Injecting drug use is the most common risk factor for hepatitis C in the UK. Other risk factors include mother to baby and unsafe sex.
Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus (BBV); it lives mainly in the liver and moves around the body in the blood. It is spread by blood to blood contact.
The hepatitis C virus is highly infectious; this means you can get the virus even if you have only been in contact with a very small amount of it. It can be passed on through open cuts, wounds or scratches but cannot be passed on through unbroken skin. In the UK the virus is often passed on by the sharing of drug injecting equipment.