Hepatitis C is a virus that can infect and damage the liver. It is most commonly spread through contact with the blood of an infected person usually through the sharing of needles but also through any sexual contact which involves exposure to blood.
For many cases there are no obvious symptoms and so it can go unnoticed for a long time, however, if they do occur can include flu-like symptoms, feeling tired, yellow skin and sometimes depression.
A blood test will tell you whether your body is making antibodies to try and fight the hepatitis C virus. You may also be referred to a liver specialist for a liver function test.
Treatment for Hepatitis C is usually through the use of antiviral medication. This helps stop the virus from increasing inside the body and prevent liver damage.
There is no vaccination to protect against Hepatitis C but there are ways in which to reduce the risk of infection. It is always advisable when having vaginal or anal sex to always use a condom. Due to the fact that those at most risk are injecting drug users, it is also recommended that you do not share any equipment such as needles or syringes. It is also advisable not to share toothbrushes, share razors or anything that may have been contaminated with blood.