Hepatitis C Virus

Hepatitis C is a virus that can cause inflammation of the liver.  Hepatitis C is usually spread when blood from a person infected with the hepatitis C virus enters the body of someone who is not infected.  Acute Hepatitis C occurs during the first several months after a person is infected. Many people with acute Hepatitis C do not have symptoms and do not know they are infected. If symptoms occur, they can include: fever, feeling tired, not wanting to eat, upset stomach, throwing up, dark urine, grey-colored stool, joint pain, and yellow skin and eyes. Most people who get infected are not able to clear the virus and go on to develop chronic infection.  Over time, chronic Hepatitis C infection can lead to serious illness including liver disease, liver failure, and liver cancer.

      Additional Resources

  • The Tennessee Department of Health Hepatitis C Virus Project ECHO will be one of the first Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO) within a state health department in the nation. We are aiming to build a community of practice to share awareness, education, and resources as it relates to treating hepatitis C. We will focus on building treatment capacity for adults living with hepatitis C among Primary Care Providers, building treatment capacity for pediatric hepatitis C among Pediatricians, Family Physicians and Family Nurse Practitioners, and building hepatitis C treatment capacity to treat postpartum persons for interested Obstetrician-Gynecologists and Family Physicians who provide obstetric care. Visit our website and register now to join us in this important work! TDH HCV Project ECHO (endthesyndemictn.org/echo/)
  • The Tennessee Department of Health and Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services are supporting the creation of an "End the Syndemic (ETS)" plan, which will be an integrated prevention and treatment blueprint for Tennessee, inclusive of HIV, sexually transmitted infections, substance use disorder, and viral hepatitis. From March 2020 through the end of 2022, the End the Syndemic plan will be developed through meaningful community engagement with local stakeholders impacted by and/or working to address one or more of the overlapping epidemics. For more information on ETS: End the Syndemic Tennessee
  • The Tennessee Department of Health partners with several community-based organizations across the state to offer rapid hepatitis C virus testing for clients at increased risk for hepatitis C virus. If you are interested in becoming a rapid hepatitis C virus testing partner, please complete the following survey: https://redcap.link/rapid_hcv_interest
  • Tennessee Department of Health Viral Hepatitis Case Navigators (VHCNs) are available in each region. Navigators identify, engage, and refer hepatitis C virus viremic individuals tested in the health department, and acutely infected individuals statewide, to hepatitis C virus treatment and supportive services. For more information about the VHCNs: Tennessee Department of Health Viral Hepatitis Case Navigators
  • Tennessee Department of Health Viral Hepatitis Prevention Navigators (VHPNs) are available in each region. VHPNs provide referrals to harm reduction services for health department clients with prior exposure to hepatitis C virus, as well as individuals with no prior exposure that have indicated self-reported risk factors for hepatitis C virus.
  • Syringe Services Programs (SSPs) offer free distribution and disposal of needles/syringes, HIV and hepatitis C virus testing, access to naloxone, and referrals to prevention, care, and social services. SSPs help to reduce drug use, get clients into treatment, and prevent HIV/hepatitis C virus transmission. For more information about SSPs: Syringe Services Programs in Tennessee
  • Regional Overdose Prevention Specialists (ROPS) provide training and education on overdose prevention through the distribution of naloxone to individuals at high risk of overdose and their families, friends, and community members, as well as agencies that provide treatment and recovery services. For more information about ROPS: Regional Overdose Prevention Specialists
  • Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Navigators engage HIV-negative individuals who would benefit from pre-exposure prophylaxis ("PrEP"), a pill when taken once a day is up to 99% effective at preventing HIV transmission if exposed. Navigators help link clients to PrEP services, while helping them maintain HIV negative status. For more information about PrEP Navigators: Pre-exposure Prophylaxis Navigators
  • The Tennessee REDLINE is a 24 hour toll-free resource for Addiction and Mental Health Referrals: Tennessee REDLINE