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HCV (hepatitis C virus) makes your liver swell and stops it from working right. About one-quarter of people living with HIV are also infected with hepatitis C. You can get HCV by:
Many people with hepatitis C don't have any symptoms. But some people feel like they have the flu. They may have these symptoms, which can appear six to 12 weeks after exposure to the virus:
They may also have these symptoms:
HCV infection is more serious in persons with HIV. It leads to liver damage more quickly. Having HCV may affect the treatment of HIV infection. So, it's important for HIV-infected persons to know whether they are also infected with HCV. These steps can help prevent infection:
Chronic hepatitis C can be treated successfully, even in people with HIV. But HCV can go on for years without symptoms. Over time, HCV can cause your liver to stop working. If that happens, you will need a new liver. The surgery is called a liver transplant. It involves taking out the old, damaged liver and putting in a new, healthy one from a donor. Liver transplant is possible for some people with HIV.
Content last updated: July 01, 2011.