The hepatitis C virus usually spreads through blood. The most common way that people get it is from injecting drugs -- especially when they share needles or syringes. But it's possible to get the disease through sex.
It's more likely to happen if you or your partner have HIV or another sexually transmitted disease, have rough sex, or have more than one sex partner.
You can get a blood test to see if you have the hepatitis C virus.
Are There Any Long-Term Effects?
Yes. About 75% to 85% of people who have it develop a long-term infection called chronic hepatitis C. It can lead to conditions like liver cancer and cirrhosis, or scarring of the liver. This is one of the top reasons people get liver transplants.
How Is It Treated?
Hepatitis C treatments have changed a lot in recent years. The latest is a once-daily pill called Harvoni that cures the disease in most people in 8-12 weeks. It combines two drugs: sofosbuvir (Sovaldi) and ledipasvir. In clinical trials, the most common side effects were fatigue and headache. However, the medicine is expensive.