Background & Testing
Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis C is a virus that can cause short term and long term inflammation of the liver. The Hepatitis C virus is spread when blood and certain body fluids from a Hepatitis C infected person enters the body of an uninfected person. Only a few droplets are required. Droplets may live outside of the body on a room temperature surface for up to three weeks. Hepatitis C screening is strongly recommended because an estimated 75% of the 2.7 million people in the United States living with Hepatitis C infection are unaware of their status.
Common methods of spreading Hepatitis C include receiving a blood transfusion prior to the 1980’s, contaminated tattoo instruments, sharing of contaminated needles with IV drug use, sexual activity with multiple sexual partners, and any activity or practice where blood to blood contact can occur such as sharing toothbrushes and razor blades.
Testing for Hepatitis C is very simple and inexpensive. All it requires is a small blood sample. After collection, results are available in a few days. Most insurance plans including Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance cover Hepatitis C testing at no additional cost to the patient. Testing is available at all of Eau Claire Cooperative Health Center’s Family and Internal Medicine locations.
For early morning screenings, Eau Claire Walk-in located at 4605 Monticello Road, Columbia, SC opens at 8:00 a.m. Services are also available for early evening screenings up until 6:30 p.m.
Weekend screenings are available at our Saturday Walk-in located at 1228 Harden Street, Columbia SC from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
All men and women born between 1945 and 1965 (currently between age 52 and 72 years old) are recommended to receive a one-time Hepatitis C screening because 75% of all infections involve this group. Men and women who engage in IV drug use should be screened every 6 months.
Hepatitis C can cause minor short term illness in some, but may cause long term infection in others. About 75-85% of people with an initial infection will develop a long term infection. If left untreated long term Hepatitis C infection may cause severe liver disease, liver cancer, disability, and death.
New therapies to treat Hepatitis C infection can stop the disease progression and provide a CURE to most people.
Hepatitis C treatment at the Eau Claire Cooperative Health Center is provided by Hepatitis C and HIV specialists, Dr. Adebajo and Dr. Stewart at the Cooperative’s Waverly Family Practice office located at 1228 Harden Street, Suite C, Columbia, SC 29204 – (803) 748-1181 / (803) 995-8824.
Successful treatment requires the expertise of a provider, pharmacy team, and involved support staff. Drs. Adebajo and Stewart and their Cooperative teams have been engaged in the successful treatment of Hepatitis C and other infectious diseases for years. Their understanding of the treatment regimens has produced an extraordinary cure rate.