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Hepatitis C: The Basics

  • Hepatitis C is the most serious form of hepatitis, and there is currently NO vaccine or cure.
  • Hepatitis C currently affects about 4 million Americans (about 4 times the number of those infected with HIV!) and about 175 million people world-wide (about 2% of the population).
  • There are anywhere from 35,000 to 185,000 new cases in the U.S. per year.
  • Chronic Hepatitis C results in 10,000-20,000 deaths a year in the U.S. This figure is expected to triple within the next 10-20 years as more people discover they have HCV.
  • Hepatitis C is the most common blood-borne infection in the United States.
  • About 85% of all infections develop into chronic infections (also see The Lifecycle of Hepatitis C)
  • Liver failure due to hepatitis C is now the leading cause of liver transplants in the United States.
  • The Hepatitis C Virus is difficult to treat because it has nearly 90 subtypes!