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!