Health Department

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our administration office at 10777 Main Street in Fairfax is open during regular business hours 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday. Clinic services are not offered at this location.
703-246-2411 TTY 711
10777 Main Street
Fairfax, VA 22030
Gloria Addo-Ayensu, M.D., M.P.H.
Director of Health

Hepatitis C

If you are an adult, pregnant, or have risk factors, get tested for hepatitis C. Hepatitis C can be cured.

HEPATITIS C (Hep C). 1. Hep C is a liver infection caused by a virus. 2. Hep C is spread by infected blood. 3. Hep C can lead to liver disease and cancer. HEPATITIS C (Hep C) GETTING TESTED is the only way to know if you have Hep C. Hep C can be cured by taking medicine. Testing is the first step on a path to cure.Hepatitis C, or Hep C, is a liver infection that is caused by a virus. Hepatitis means inflammation (swelling) of the liver.

Hepatitis C is spread by contact with an infected person’s blood. Today, most people become infected with hepatitis C by sharing needles, syringes, or any other equipment used to prepare and inject drugs.

Getting tested for hepatitis C is important. People who are infected with hepatitis C usually do not have symptoms until the virus causes severe liver disease. If it is not treated, hepatitis C can cause life-threatening complications and liver cancer.

There is no vaccine for hepatitis C. Most infections can be cured by taking medication.

Learn more about hepatitis C from the CDC. 

About Hepatitis C

Millions of Americans have hepatitis C and many don’t know it. Getting tested is the only way to know if you have hepatitis C. 

A blood test called a hepatitis C antibody test can tell if you have been infected with the hepatitis C virus—either recently or in the past. If you have a positive antibody test, another blood test is needed to tell if you are still infected or if you were infected in the past and cleared the virus on your own.

Testing is recommended if you:

  • Are 18 years or older. You should get tested at least once.
  • Are pregnant. You should get tested during each pregnancy. 
  • Currently inject drugs. You should get tested regularly.
  • Have ever injected drugs, even if it was just once or many years ago
  • Have HIV
  • Have abnormal liver tests or liver disease
  • Are on hemodialysis
  • Received donated blood or organs before July 1992
  • Received clotting factor concentrates before 1987
  • Have been exposed to blood from a person who has hepatitis C
  • Were born to a mother with hepatitis C
  • Are a health care, emergency medical, and public safety personnel after needle sticks, sharps, or mucosal exposures to HCV positive blood
  • Anyone that requests testing

Learn more about hepatitis C testing guidelines.

Learn more about what to expect when getting tested for hepatitis C.

If you have a healthcare provider, ask them to test you for hepatitis C.

If you do not have a healthcare provider, even if you don't have insurance, testing is available from:

Most hepatitis C infections can be cured by taking medications for 8 to 12 weeks.

Most people do not have side effects from taking the medication. Around 10-15% of people experience nausea and headache, but these symptoms typically resolve one to two weeks after starting the treatment.

Find a healthcare provider that treats hepatitis C from Virginia HEPC.

You can become infected with the hepatitis C virus by sharing needles or other equipment used to prepare and inject drugs. See this fact sheet for important information about hepatitis C and Injection Drug Use.

The Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board provides for those who need support with mental health or substance use challenges. 

Hepatitis C can be prevented, the CDC shares this guidance:

  • Avoid sharing or reusing needles, syringes or any other equipment used to prepare and inject drugs, steroids, hormones, or other substances.
  • Do not use personal items that may have come into contact with an infected person’s blood, even in amounts too small to see, such as glucose monitors, razors, nail clippers, or toothbrushes.
  • Do not get tattoos or body piercings from an unlicensed facility or in an informal setting.

Hepatitis C transmission can occur during pregnancy or childbirth, and there is no way to protect the newborn from infection. 

Hepatitis C testing is recommended during every pregnancy. Hepatitis C treatment is not currently approved for use during pregnancy. It is safe to begin treatment after giving birth and completing breastfeeding. Treatment is approved for children beginning at 3 years of age.

There is no evidence that breastfeeding spreads hepatitis C, so you can safely breastfeed your baby. However, if you have cracked or bleeding nipples, stop nursing temporarily until their nipples have healed. This recommended because hepatitis C is spread through contact with blood, and not enough is known about whether this practice is safe.


Treating uncomplicated Hepatitis C infection is now a straightforward process that primary care providers can manage without a specialist. More providers treating Hepatitis C in their practice is needed.

Learn to treat Hepatitis C in your practice.

Learn more about Hepatitis C CNEs/CMEs from UVA Health and University of Washington.

Fairfax Virtual Assistant