Wednesday, November 28, 2007
The American Liver Foundation (ALF) is the nation's leading nonprofit organization promoting liver health and disease prevention. ALF provides research, education and advocacy for those affected by liver-related diseases, including hepatitis.
With the support of donors, the American Liver Foundation can continue to promote education about liver wellness, provide assistance to those affected by and at risk for liver disease, and work to find cures and better treatments for all diseases of the liver.
When country music star Naomi Judd, as a young nurse, was stuck by a needle she contracted Hepatitis C. Her music career ended when her battle against hepatitis began.
Hepatitis C is a disease of the liver that is caused by the hepatitis C virus, or HCV. Chronic hepatitis C is a serious condition that damages the liver and can lead to potentially fatal liver diseases such as cirrhosis, liver failure and liver cancer. One of the most common reasons for liver transplants is damage caused by hepatitis C infection.
You can get hepatitis C if your blood comes into contact with blood from someone who already has the virus. The most common cause of transmission is the sharing of needles and other equipment used to inject illegal drugs. Less common causes of transmission include:
* Sharing a razor, toothbrush or nail clipper with an infected person
* Accidental exposure to infected blood among health care or public safety workers
* Exposure to unclean tattooing or body-piercing instruments
* Unprotected anal sex or exposure to multiple sex partners
In rare cases, hepatitis C can be spread from an infected mother to her child at birth. It cannot be spread by breast-feeding.
Before 1992 there was a risk of getting hepatitis C from blood transfusions. Now all donated blood is tested for HCV so there is almost no risk of getting the disease from blood transfusions.
Help those affected by Hepatitis C and other live diseases by donating to The Liver Foundation.