What is included in patient education for hepatitis C (hep C)?

Updated: Oct 07, 2019
  • Author: Vinod K Dhawan, MD, FACP, FRCPC, FIDSA; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection should be advised to abstain from alcohol use, as it accelerates the onset of cirrhosis and end-stage liver disease. Patients should be informed about the low but present risk for transmission to sex partners. Optimally, patients should use barrier protection during sexual intercourse. [44] Sharing personal items that might have blood on them, such as toothbrushes or razors, should be avoided.

Patients with hepatitis C should not donate blood or organs. One exception is in patients with HCV who require liver transplantation. Arenas et al showed that liver transplant recipients who received liver grafts from HCV-positive donors had 5-year survival rates comparable to recipients who received grafts from HCV-negative donors. [45] Given the shortage of organs and the long waiting list, this strategy has proven safe and effective.

Patients should also check with a healthcare professional before taking any new prescription pills, over-the counter drugs, or supplements, as these can potentially damage the liver.


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