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Can You Get Reinfected With Hepatitis C After Being Cleared?

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Hepatitis C is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis C virus. It is spread through contact with blood from someone who is infected. It can be a short-term illness for some people, while about half of those infected deal with a more long-term and chronic infection. This can result in either cirrhosis or lung cancer. Many people with hepatitis C don’t have any symptoms, so they don’t even know that they are infected. At Health Services of North Texas, our Denton, Wylie, and Plano, TX health centers have a dedicated infectious disease management team that offers professional, confidential medical care. Our goal is to help those with hepatitis C to live a healthy life, regardless of their status.

Signs you may have hepatitis C

Some of the most common symptoms of hepatitis C include:

  • Pain in the upper right abdomen

  • Jaundice

  • Fatigue

  • Rashes

  • Low platelet count

  • Easy bruising

  • Discolored and/or dark urine

  • Spider veins

  • Swollen arms or legs

When you’re experiencing some of these symptoms, it’s important to schedule a medical exam for hepatitis C testing.

Who is most at risk for getting hepatitis C?

People who are more at risk for being infected with hepatitis C include:

  • Those with HIV

  • Current or former addicts who inject or have injected drugs

  • Those who have received blood transfusions or organ transplants

  • Children born to mothers with HCV infection

  • Those who have sex who have an STD, multiple partners, or have rough sex that may cause them to have an open cut

  • Sharing personal care items

It’s important to understand that you cannot get hepatitis C through breastfeeding, hugging, kissing, coughing, sharing food, or sneezing.

How do you contract hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is transmitted mostly by exposure to blood infected with the virus. If you’re in a long-term relationship with someone who has hep C, your risk is quite low unless you have HIV. However, your risk may be higher if you have sex during your period or have anal sex, as this is more likely to cause you to bleed. When you’re concerned about hepatitis, our professional medical team at Health Services of North Texas can answer your questions about the chances of contracting hep c sexually.

Can you get reinfected with hep c after treatment?

Yes, you can. Having hepatitis C once doesn’t mean you are immune from contracting it again. The chances of being reinfected are much lower than getting it the first time. However, for HIV-positive individuals, men who have sex with men, or active drug users, your risk of reinfection is much higher. Ultimately, the best way to avoid reinfection is to avoid or reduce your exposure.

Hepatitis C testing

During a blood test, we look for Anti-HCV antibodies, proteins in that the body that allow us to find the virus in your blood. This usually can occur within 12 weeks after infection. When your antibody test is positive, we then give you an HCV RNA test, which measures the number of viral RNA material in your blood. This typically appears within one to two weeks after infection. From there, we can provide information about hepatitis C treatment. At Health Services of North Texas, we treat those who suspect they may have hepatitis C or have a long-term illness with it.

Learn more about hepatitis C testing and treatment

It’s possible to live a healthy life with a long-term virus, such as hepatitis C. Our professional medical team at Health Services of North Texas is well-trained with hepatitis C treatment. We have six locations across the state, and two of them, Denton and Plano, TX, specialize in the treatment of hepatitis C. To schedule a confidential appointment, call us today. We offer our medical services on a sliding fee scale for those with limited income, or who are underinsured or uninsured. We accept most major insurance plans, Medicaid, and Medicare.