Hepatitis CThe Hepatitis C virus was discovered in 1989 and was initially referred to as a "not-A-not-B" hepatitis virus. The virus is a single-stranded, enveloped, positive sense RNA virus in the Flavivirus family.
Hepatitis C infects an estimated 170 million persons worldwide and 3.9 million persons in the United States. Co-infection with HIV is common and rates among HIV positive populations are higher.
The infection is spread by blood exchange and sexual contact (see also sexually transmitted disease), but before serological tests became available, blood transfusion and use of emoderivates was a common cause of infection.
Although it can be spread sexually, and vertically (from mother to child), transmission by these routes is not as likely as with hepatitis B. In most developed countries it is usually seen primarily in intravenous drug users.
Alternative therapies are proposed that can perhaps be considered ways to reduce the liver's duties, rather than treat the virus itself. This will not affect the course of the disease or quality of life of the person.
It is related to Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B because of their shared target organ, however the viruses that cause Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B are quite different.