Donate to Hepatitis C Research, Patient Care and Education
Hepatitis C is a liver-damaging viral infection and is the most common chronic viral infection transferred through infected blood. It is currently estimated that approximately 2.7 million to 3.9 million people in the United States are infected with hepatitis C. Many of them do not even know they have the disease. One of the goals of Northwestern Medicine is to educate those most at risk for contracting hepatitis C, in order to prevent the spread of the disease. Your donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation will help Northwestern Medicine’s specialists in the field of infectious diseases to achieve that important goal.
People who are most at risk of being infected with hepatitis C are those who handle blood or bodily fluids, use needles including those who use opioids or heroin or those on IV drugs, have unprotected sex or are HIV positive, or who have been born to an infected mother. A risk exists for those who get piercings or tattoos with equipment that has not been cleaned thoroughly. Those who are on dialysis or have kidney problems also have a higher risk of contracting the virus. By making a donation to Northwestern Medicine in support of hepatitis C-related initiatives, you will help specialists at Northwestern Medicine to continue their many efforts to raise awareness of hepatitis C, and to effectively diagnose and treat the disease.
There are two kinds of hepatitis C— acute and chronic. When hepatitis C is acute, there is still a chance that the body’s immune system can fight off the disease, meaning that a person could be cured within six months, with proper treatment. When the disease is chronic, however, the liver is damaged beyond being able to repair itself, and the condition will likely be lifelong. About 85 percent of those who are infected with acute hepatitis C develop chronic hepatitis C. This process can lead to cirrhosis of the liver, liver cancer, chronic liver disease or possibly liver failure. Early detection is key to providing the most effective treatment for hepatitis C, and when you contribute to Northwestern Memorial Foundation, you will play an integral role in helping Northwestern Medicine’s physicians to make accurate, early diagnoses for patients.
Those who are infected with hepatitis C could experience some or all the following symptoms.
- Typical signs of sickness such as fatigue, nausea and vomiting, and fever
- Pain in the joints or abdomen
- Digestive issues including dark urine and pale colored stools
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
- Very unusual symptoms like swelling, jaundice, slurred speech, or bleeding and easy bruising
Many of these symptoms may seem like typical flu symptoms, and many patients actually have no symptoms at all; therefore, it is common for individuals to spread the disease before they realize that they have contracted it. In addition to treating individuals diagnosed with hepatitis C, the care team at Northwestern Medicine offers information and support to patients’ loved ones.
Hepatitis C Research, Patient Care and Education Donation
Your donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation will enable scientists at Northwestern Medicine to advance their research into the prevention and treatment of hepatitis C. In addition, through your generosity, you will help to ensure that patients receive the best care and can live the fullest life possible while they fight hepatitis C.