Some people are more at risk than others for having or getting hepatitis C.
- People born between 1945 and 1965 (known as baby boomers) are the age group with the greatest chance of having hepatitis C.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends that all people born between 1945 and 1965 get tested for the hepatitis C virus, to be sure they did not get it years ago.
- It is estimated that between 1960 and 1980 most people were infected with hepatitis C because of:
- Getting donated blood that was contaminated with hepatitis C
- Having a medical procedure in a health care setting that did not use strict infection control
- Sharing needles for injecting drugs
Those at risk for getting hepatitis C are:
- People who use illegal drugs that are taken by injection using a needle (for example, heroin)
- People on hemodialysis
- Health care workers who work with people who have hepatitis C
- People with HIV/AIDS
- Children born to mothers who have hepatitis C
- People who received donated blood before 1992, before there were laws requiring clinics to make sure there were no diseases in donated blood
Those who may be at risk but their risk is less:
- People who have sexual contact with people who have hepatitis C
- People who share personal items like razors and toothbrushes with people who have hepatitis C (the gums sometimes bleed on a toothbrush and people sometimes accidentally cut themselves while shaving)
Supported by an independent educational grant from
Merck & Co., Inc.