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Hepatitis C: Symptoms, Stages, and Prognosis

Last Updated: July 29, 2015

Please Note: This page focuses on the symptoms and stages, hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and the prognosis for persons who are currently living with HCV or who have been cured of the infection.  

If you are interested in approved and experimental HCV treatments and their potential to cure chronic HCV infection, please visit these two related pages: Hepatitis C: Treatment with Approved Medications and Hepatitis C: New and Experimental Treatments.

WHAT'S ON THIS PAGE (Please click on links below to jump to sections)

General Information

The ABCs of Hepatitis. Fact sheet from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

What Are the Symptoms and Signs of Hepatitis C?  Fact sheet from the American Liver Foundation.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Hepatitis C?  Fact sheet from Hepatitis Central.

Complications of Hepatitis C: Other Complications.  From

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From the Hepatitis C Trust's Stages of Hepatitis C Pages:

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From the HCV Advocate Web Site:

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Selected Recent Articles

Liver fibrosis regression after hepatitis C treatment linked to reduced complications and death in people with HIV and HCV co-infection.  Article dated July 29, 2015 from

Hep C Coinfection Increases Death Risk in Drug Users With HIV.  Article dated July 6, 2015 from

Hep C Worsens Progression of Hep B Disease.  Article dated June 24, 2015 from

Hepatitis C and Pain, Part 1.  Article dated June 15, 2015 from

Hepatitis B and C co-infection linked to worse liver fibrosis than hepatitis B alone.  Article dated June 8, 2015 from

Coffee and the Liver.  Article dated May 25, 2015 from

Statin use associated with lower risk of liver decompensation and death in hepatitis C patients with cirrhosis.  Article dated May 19, 2015 from

Hep C Treatment Can Help Those With Advanced Liver Disease.  Article dated May 18, 2015 from

People with hepatitis C have higher cancer rates, even when excluding liver cancer.  Article dated May 13, 2015 from

One in Five People With Hep C Likely Have Advanced Liver Disease.  Article dated May 12, 2015 from

Another study confirms detrimental effects of delaying hepatitis C treatment.  Article dated May 5, 2015 from

Putting Off Hep C Treatment Raised Risks With Older Treatments.  Article dated May 4, 2015 from

Statins Appear Helpful to Hep C-Related Compensated Cirrhosis.  Article dated May 4, 2015 from

Hep C Not Highly Linked With Mortality, Absent Other Conditions.  Article dated April 27, 2015 from

Hepatitis C Is Linked With a Higher Overall Cancer Rate.  Article dated April 27, 2015 from

Alcohol misuse the strongest predictor of severe liver damage and death in French people with hepatitis C.  Article dated April 27, 2015 from

Advanced liver damage is common in people with undiagnosed hepatitis C in U.S. survey.  Article dated April 25, 2015 from

HCV viral load levels during treatment and speed of decline do not predict cure with interferon-free therapy.  Article dated April 23, 2015 from

End-stage liver disease is a concern for people with HIV and hepatitis B or C co-infection.  Article dated April 7, 2015 from

Hepatitis C: Predictors of Treatment Response.  Article dated March 9, 2015 from

Diagnosing and Treating Acute Hepatitis C: Is It Still Important? Article dated March 6, 2015 from

Progression to severe fibrosis or cirrhosis is common among baby boomers with hepatitis C in the U.S.  Article dated March 3, 2015 from

Deferring hepatitis C treatment can lead to liver cancer and death, despite cure.  Article dated March 3, 2015 from

Delayed HCV therapy may increase liver-related deaths.  Article dated February 27, 2015 from

People With Hep C Have High Rates of Depression and Poor Health.  Article dated February 17, 2015 from

Estimated U.S. Cirrhosis Rates Are 58% Higher Than Once Believed.  Article dated January 7, 2015 from

Wait a While Before Treating Acute Hepatitis C, Clinic Director Advises.  Article dated December 19, 2014 from

One million people with hepatitis C in the US at high priority for treatment.  Article dated December 18, 2014 from

Many hepatitis C patients with cirrhosis or advanced fibrosis face liver failure and liver cancer.  Article dated December 18, 2014 from

Fibrosis Progresses Quickly During First 5 Years of Hep C Infection.  Article dated December 17, 2014 from

Hep C Hospitalizations and Related Costs Are On the Rise.  Article dated December 3, 2014 from

AbbVie 3D regimen cures recurrent HCV in most liver transplant recipients without cirrhosis.  Article dated November 27, 2014 from

DAAs show good cure rates and liver function improvement for transplant recipients with recurrent HCV.  Article dated November 27, 2014 from

Hep C Cure Means Normal Lifespan for Those With Advanced Liver Disease.  Article dated November 19, 2014 for

High Post-Liver Transplant Survival Rates for People With HIV.  Article dated November 17, 2014 for

Comparing Hep B- Versus Hep C-Related Liver Cancer Outcomes.  Article dated November 17, 2014 for

Hep C Cure Lowers Risk of Death, Liver Cancer and Transplants.  Article dated November 10, 2014 for

Sustained virological response to hepatitis C treatment reduces mortality, liver cancer and liver transplants.  Article dated November 10, 2014 from

'3D' Hep C Treatment Improves Liver Health in Cirrhotics.  Article dated November 5, 2014 for

Coffee, Even Decaf, May Promote Liver Health.  Article dated October 15, 2014 from

Higher Cirrhosis and Liver Cancer Risk for Hep C Genotype 3.  Article dated September 17, 2014 from

Are Fibrosis Tests a Cost-Effective Way to Decide on Hep C Treatment?  Article dated September 10, 2014 from 

Curing Hep C Lowers Central Nervous System Fatigue.  Article dated September 10, 2014 from 

Hep C Suppression Linked to Major Health Benefits.  Article dated September 10, 2014 from 

Cirrhosis and Liver Cancer Risk Differs by Race for People With Hepatitis C.  Article dated September 3, 2014 from

The Price of NOT Curing Hepatitis C.  Article dated July 21, 2014 from

How Does Hep C Affect Men and Women Differently?  Article dated July 3, 2014 from  

HCV is a major reason for healthcare utilisation in the United States.  Article dated June 23, 2014 from

Sustained response to treatment reduces fatigue in hepatitis C patients. Article dated May 6, 2014 from

Viral Hepatitis Kills More Europeans Than HIV by Tenfold.  Article dated April 16, 2014 from

Post-Transplant Survival Lower with HIV and HCV-1 Than with HCV-1 Alone. Article dated March 12, 2014 from NATAP.

Major Study Finds Much Higher Death Rates Among Persons with Known Hepatitis C Infection Compared to the General Population. Article dated February 2014 from the Health Disparities Update. 

Low lymphocyte count a risk factor for infections for people taking HCV therapy.  Article dated January 16, 2014 from 

ARVs Lower Advanced Liver Disease in Men With HIV & Hep C.  Article dated January 3, 2014 from

Starting antiretroviral therapy significantly reduces the risk of decompensated liver disease for men with HIV/HCV co-infection.  Article dated December 16, 2013 from

Successful hepatitis C treatment reduces risk of liver cancer and death, but most remain untreated.  Article dated November 15, 2013 from

Interferon response reduces liver disease and death in HIV/HCV co-infected people.  Article dated September 19, 2013 from

Women Spontaneously Clear Hep C Better Than Men.  Article dated September 16, 2013  from

Decompensated cirrhosis increases risk of liver cancer for people with HIV and viral hepatitis co-infection.  Article dated September 3, 2013 from 

People with HIV/HCV-co-infection and advanced liver fibrosis can rapidly develop decompensated liver disease.  Article dated September 2, 2013 from

Treat Hep C if HIV-Coinfected Have Advanced Fibrosis.  Article dated August 26, 2013 from

High proportion of Canadian patients with HIV-HCV co-infection and liver cirrhosis are not having ultrasounds to check for liver cancer.  Article dated August 22, 2013 from

No Link Between Pot and Liver Disease in HIV/Hep C Coinfected.  Article dated August 12, 2013 from

Liver Cancer Deaths Double in Two Decades.  Article dated August 5, 2013 from

Fibroscan accurately predicts liver decompensation and death in HIV/HCV co-infected people.  Article dated July 8, 2013 from

Liver Transplants Are a Viable Option for People With HIV.  Article dated May 20, 2013 from

Viral Hepatitis Coinfection Increases Hospitalization Rates About 50% for HIV-Infected Persons.  Article from the April 2013 Health Disparities Update.

Liver disease a major cause of illness and death across the EU: action needed to save lives.  Article dated April 16, 2013 from

Drinking coffee halves the risk of liver cancer.  Article dated April 2, 2013 from

Even moderate alcohol consumption increases risk of death for people with chronic hepatitis C.  Article dated March 18, 2013 from

HIV Accelerates Liver Fibrosis by Nearly a Decade Among People With Hep C. Article dated February 28, 2013 from

Spanish research shows that liver stiffness can predict outcomes in people co-infected with HIV and hepatitis C.  Article dated January 30, 2013 from

HIV and Hepatitis C Coinfection Raises Cognitive Impairment Risk for Men.  Article dated December 17, 2012 from

HIV and hepatitis C co-infection increases the risk of cognitive impairment.  Article dated December 11, 2012 from

Liver Cancer Spikes Among Spanish Coinfected With HIV, Hepatitis. Article dated November 26, 2012 from

New cohort shows the impact of hepatitis B and hepatitis C on the 'baby boom' generation. Article dated November 11, 2012 from

Dramatic increase in incidence of liver cancer in HIV-positive people with viral hepatitis. Article dated October 29, 2012 from

Antiviral treatment reduces risk of liver cancer in people with hepatitis C-related cirrhosis and fibrosis. Article dated October 29, 2012 from

Hep C Hospital Admissions Spike Fivefold; Those for HIV Drop by Half. Article dated October 24, 2012 from

African American Women Coinfected with HIV and Hepatitis C (HCV) Have Lower Liver Death Rates than Coinfected White Women or Latinas.  Article from the September 2012 Health Disparities Update.

Bacterial translocation is associated with more severe liver fibrosis in HIV/hepatitis C-co-infected people. Article dated September 13, 2012 from

Chronic hepatitis C virus infection increases risk of death from both liver disease and non-liver-related causes. Article dated September 5, 2012 from

Decompensated liver disease more frequent in HIV/HCV co-infected people. Article dated July 26, 2012 from

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