Question | Discussion | References

Counseling the Patient with Hepatitis C Infection

Author: Linda Gorgos, MD, MSc Jeanne Marrazzo, MD, MPH

Last updated: January 17, 2013

After donating blood at a local blood drive, a 55-year-old man was notified that he tested positive on an antibody test for hepatitis C virus. He is upset about the test results, stating, "I don't know how I could have with hepatitis C. I only tried injecting drugs once or twice with my friends when I was in my 20's." He is very worried about how this may affect his health.

Which of the following statements would be appropriate for addressing some of his concerns?

A It is unlikely that he got infected with hepatitis C through injection drug use since that was years ago and occurred only for brief period of time.
B His test result indicates that he has chronic hepatitis C infection.
C Chronic hepatitis C infection can be associated with long term complications such as liver failure, cirrhosis, and liver cancer.
D Most individuals who have hepatitis C experience jaundice and flu-like symptoms from this infection.