Nearly 4 million Americans are estimated to be infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV). That is more than 3 times those with HIV/AIDS, more than 5 times those with Parkinson's disease, and more than 10 times those with multiple sclerosis.
Many people with HCV do not know that they have the virus. This is unfortunate, because HCV can seriously and silently damage the liver. Often, there are no symptoms until the late stages of the disease.
These days, many people are diagnosed after a routine blood test reveals that their liver enzymes are elevated, and further tests show that the virus is in their blood. If you know you have HCV, you can get the treatment you need that may help you overcome the virus and reduce the damage to your liver.
Hepatitis C is not an easy disease to treat. A single course of interferon, or interferon plus ribavirin, may not work in getting rid of the virus. Sometimes, another course of a different interferon may be necessary to help eliminate the virus and reduce the damage to your liver.
Other helpful resources:
The American College of Gastroenterology
American Liver Foundation (ALF)
Hepatitis Foundation International
Hep C Connection
HIV and Hepatitis
National AIDS Treatment Advocacy Project (NATAP)
The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID)
National Institutes of Health - Clinical Trials in HCV