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February 2018    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 33, No. 2   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Diving and Hepatitis C: Know the Facts

from the February, 2018 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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You have probably seen the television ads aimed at baby boomers concerning hepatitis C (HCV). They warn you of your chances of having HCV while advertising medications that will cure HCV in 8-12 weeks. You may, in fact, know you are infected, or a dive buddy may have told you, confidentially, that they have it. Confidentially, because there is a lot of shame and discrimination surrounding this disease.

Hepatitis C is NOT casually transmitted by kissing, hugging, food or drink. Transmission can only occur through blood-to-blood contact via contaminated blood products, needle sharing, medical sharp devices, tattooing, and, much more rarely, through sex with an HCV-infected person or from mother to child. The current medical literature does not indicate transmission in any other manner. Nevertheless, Hepatitis C may be undiagnosed for years, so many diseased persons are unaware they are infected and may pass the infection to others with blood exposure and intimate contact....

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