Community Blog

Baby Boomers and Hepatitis C: What You Need to Know

By Debbie Humphrey

I am a baby boomer, a term used for individuals born between 1941 and 1965, and I have a higher risk for Hepatitis C than the rest of the population. “Why?” I wondered. After doing my due diligence through research, I learned a few things I want to share about baby boomers and Hepatitis C, that I’m sure you will find interesting, as well. Hopefully, if you fall into this category, you will hasten to be tested.

Did you know that Hepatitis C [Hep C], can be contracted by anyone, but three out of four with the disease are baby boomers? This group of adults is five times more likely to have Hep C than any other age group.

It is not truly known exactly why baby boomers are more susceptible to having contracted the disease, but it is believed that some people may have been infected by contaminated blood and blood products prior to the implementation of careful screenings, which supposedly eliminated the virus by 1992. A contaminated needle used to inject meds into an IV, or IV drug use could also be a culprit. It only takes one instance of contact to contract the Hepatitis C virus, or HVC.

It is also possible the virus could’ve been contracted from contact with contaminated medical equipment, tubing, and procedures, before there were stringent, universal precautions pertaining to contamination and infection control in healthcare facilities.

There are cases when individuals who test positive for Hep C are able to rid their bodies of the disease. For others, unfortunately, it can become a long-term infection that significantly damages the liver. Hep C is a form of liver disease that occurs when someone is infected with the HCV. The virus is quite contagious, and continues to be the leading cause of liver cancer and liver transplants.

It is very important for baby boomers to get a Hep C test, especially since it is such a contagious virus. A positive test does not necessarily mean you have Hep C, because you may be one of the lucky ones whose body was able to clear the virus, but the antibodies are still present. In such cases, additional testing may be required.

If you know a baby boomer with Hepatitis C, or at risk of having the disease, I am happy to offer a FREE in-home consultation to discuss individual needs, including setting an appointment for an Hep C test, and/or providing transportation assistance to the testing appointment.

Home Helpers® proudly serves male and female seniors in Clearwater, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Holiday, New Port Richey, Trinity, Port Richey, Hudson and surrounding areas. Contact us today to learn more about the many services offered through Home Helpers® We are Making Life Easier℠ 727.972.2539

Source: US Dept of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control
###