Hi guys! Do you know that globally, an estimated 58 million people have chronic #hepatitisC virus infection, with about 1.5 million new infections occurring per year?

Let's learn something about it today shall we? This is after all an #InformativeTuesday! 😄

Hepatitis C is an inflammation of the liver caused by the hepatitis C virus.

The virus can cause both acute and chronic hepatitis, ranging in severity from a mild illness to a serious, lifelong illness including liver cirrhosis and cancer.
The hepatitis C virus is a bloodborne virus and most infection occur through exposure to blood from unsafe injection practices, unsafe health care, unscreened blood transfusions, injection drug use (sharing needles) and unsafe sexual practices that lead to exposure to blood.
WHO estimated that in 2019, approximately 290 000 people died from hepC, mostly from cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (primary liver cancer).

Antiviral medicines can cure more than 95% of persons with hepatitis C infection, but access to diagnosis and treatment is low.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) causes both acute and chronic infection. Acute HCV infections are usually asymptomatic and most do not lead to a life-threatening disease.
Around 30% (15–45%) of infected persons spontaneously clear the virus within 6 months of infection without any treatment!
The remaining 70% (55–85%) of persons will develop chronic HCV infection. Of those with chronic HCV infection, the risk of cirrhosis ranges from 15% to 30% within 20 years.
HCV is a bloodborne virus usually through:
1. The inadequate sterilization of medical equipment, especially syringes and needles in healthcare settings
2. The transfusion of unscreened blood and blood products
3. Injecting drug use through the sharing of injection equipment.
HCV can be passed from an infected mother to her baby and via sexual practices that lead to exposure to blood (for example, people with multiple sexual partners and among men who have sex with men); however, these modes of transmission are less common.
Hepatitis C is not spread through breast milk, food, water or casual contact such as hugging, kissing and sharing food or drinks with an infected person.
The incubation period for HCV ranges from 2 weeks to 6 months.
Following initial infection, approximately 80% of people don't exhibit any symptoms. Those who are acutely symptomatic may exhibit fever, fatigue, decreased appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, pale faeces, joint pain and jaundice.
Because new HCV infections are usually asymptomatic, few people are diagnosed when the infection is recent.
In those people who go on to develop chronic HCV infection, the infection is often undiagnosed because it remains asymptomatic until decades after infection when symptoms develop secondary to serious liver damage.
HCV infection is diagnosed in 2 steps:
-Testing for anti-HCV antibodies with a serological test identifies people who have been infected.
-If the test is positive for anti-HCV antibodies, a nucleic acid test for HCV ribonucleic acid (RNA) is needed to confirm chronic infection.
They need to get the confirmatory test because about 30% of people infected with HCV spontaneously clear the infection by a strong immune response without the need for treatment.

Although no longer infected, they will still test positive for anti-HCV antibodies.
After a person has been diagnosed with chronic HCV infection, an assessment should be conducted to determine the degree of liver damage (fibrosis and cirrhosis).
This can be done by liver biopsy or through a variety of non-invasive tests. The degree of liver damage is used to guide treatment decisions and management of the disease.
Early diagnosis can prevent health problems that may result from infection and prevent transmission of the virus.

WHO recommends testing people who may be at increased risk of infection.
That is why apart from HIV, we are not forgetting HCV too. We need to be well-informed for the sake of our own health, right?

Thread by: @xnxthxrmxthxr95
Source: WHO Newsroom - Fact sheets Hepatitis C

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For an STI to be passed during sex, one of the partners has to have the infection. It is not always possible to know whether someone has an infection just by looking at them. Some symptoms, such as blisters, warts or sores, can be obvious.
Many people with STIs don't even know they have an infection because they have no symptoms. Even if they do know, they might not be comfortable talking about the infection.

The chances of getting or passing an STI can change depending on:
1) The type of STI
2) the type of sex you're having
3)whether or not steps are taken to lower the chances of getting or passing an STI.

The Categories we've used

i) Commonly passed:
The infection is commonly passed this way
Read 4 tweets

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