Hepatitis C: Why Baby Boomers Should Be Tested

This post is sponsored by Quest Diagnostics.

Over 3 million Americans are living with Hepatitis C, but most of them don’t even know it. What’s even more alarming is that 75% of those infected are boomers born between 1945 and 1965.

May is Hepatitis Awareness Month and we are encouraging the FabOverFifty community to understand why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending that all baby boomers born between 1945 and 1965 get tested for the disease, which may show no symptoms for decades.

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What is Hepatitis C and how is it diagnosed?

Hepatitis C is a liver infection, triggered by a blood-borne virus that is primarily spread through contact with blood from an infected person. While some people only experience a short-term infection, 70-85% of those with Hep C develop a chronic infection, according to the CDC, which can lead to liver cirrhosis, liver cancer, and even death. Unfortunately, the liver already will be severely affected once symptoms of the chronic illness do appear.

Hep C is diagnosed through a simple blood test.

Why should boomers born between 1945 and 1965 be tested today?

HepC_KNOWING_02 (2)Boomers are five times more likely to have Hep C than the rest of the population. Hep C rates were at their peak in the 1970s and 1980s, when boomers may have been exposed to contaminated blood during medical procedures, or even through body piercing, including ear piercing, and tattoos. It wasn’t until 1992 that blood was pre-screened and universal precautions were adopted for blood supplies. Since the disease can show no symptoms for decades, it’s important for boomers to be tested now.

Is there a cure for Hep C?

Yes. There are new and successful treatments, which can eliminate the virus from your body, preventing liver damage, cirrhosis, and liver disease. The sooner the disease is diagnosed, the sooner one can get treated.

Have YOU been tested?

If you were born between 1945 and 1965, you may be living with a chronic illness and not even know it. Talk to your doctor about being tested for this disease–it could save your life.

Learn more about baby boomers and Hepatitis C here: www.KnowAboutHepC.com.

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