Just diagnosed with hepatitis c?
Being diagnosed with hepatitis C can bring up all sorts of emotions.
Following a hepatitis C diagnosis, it is totally normal to feel:
- Relieved to have an explanation
At first I was terrified but then the doctor explained how easy the treatment was and I knew I could get through this.
You might feel uncertain about the future, have questions about what your diagnosis means for you, or wonder what will happen next.
The good news is that hepatitis C is curable. 97% of people who receive treatment for hepatitis C make a full recovery.
Treatment for hepatitis C is in tablet form. You can be cured of the virus in just 8-12 weeks.
Find out more about what to expect from your treatment on our Treatment page.
If you need to talk to someone
If you have questions about your diagnosis or just want to talk about how you are feeling, we are here for you.
Our helpline is run by staff and volunteers who have personal experience of hepatitis C diagnosis and treatment.
When you’re ready to find out more about hepatitis C, you may find the following pages useful:
What can you do while you wait for treatment to start?
After you receive a positive hepatitis C test there are a number of things you can do to help take care of yourself before and during treatment.
If you have been diagnosed with hepatitis C, one of the most important things you can consider doing to look after yourself is to stop drinking alcohol and taking other drugs.
Drinking alcohol or taking other drugs can make liver damage worse. It can also make it difficult to take your treatment correctly which may make it less effective.
If you regularly drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week (around seven pints of beer or a bottle and a half of wine), the NHS offers support to help you to stop or reduce drinking safely.
You may also want help if you decide to stop taking other drugs during your treatment. Speak to your GP or find help to reduce your alcohol and other drug intake from services listed on our Other helpful organisations page.
If you decide to continue to use alcohol or other drugs, you can still have treatment for hepatitis C.
While you wait for treatment to begin, you should also consider:
- getting vaccinated against hepatitis A and hepatitis B
- sticking to a healthy diet
- doing regular exercise
- quitting smoking.
Being overweight, drinking alcohol, smoking or having more than one type of hepatitis can increase your chances of liver damage. Taking care of your overall health is an important way to take care of your liver.
Ask your treatment team or GP about being vaccinated against hepatitis A and B.
worried about passing hepatitis c on?
Hepatitis C is passed via blood-to-blood contact so it is difficult to pass on to others in typical day-to-day activities.
Until you are cured of the virus, you can take simple precautions to protect others by:
- not sharing personal hygiene items such as razors, toothbrushes, hair and nail clippers, or any other item that could cut or graze the skin
- not sharing jewellery that pierces the skin, such as earrings
- not sharing equipment used to take drugs (e.g. needles, straws, syringes, spoons, water)
- not having unprotected sex.
Find out more on our Preventing transmission page.
Telling people you have hepatitis C
Whether you tell people about your hepatitis C diagnosis is entirely your choice. Confiding in someone you trust can be an invaluable source of support and help you to feel less alone.
Find out more about how to start a conversation about hepatitis C on our Telling others page.
We’re here for you
If you want to talk to someone with personal experience of hepatitis C diagnosis and treatment, you can call our helpline for support and information.