Hep C Dictionary
Any of a body of treatment approaches outside of mainstream, or conventional, Western medicine. Usually not approved by the US government for use in medical treatment. Examples include acupuncture, herbal medicine, and dietary supplements.
Americans with Disabilities Act
A federal law that protects people with disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, state and local government services, and telecommunications.
A protein in the blood that the body produces in response to a virus, such as hepatitis C.
A class of medicines used for treating viral infections, such as hepatitis C.
A fluid made by the liver that helps to digest fats.
The removal of tissue from an organ to check for disease. During a liver biopsy, a small sample of liver tissue is collected and then examined under a microscope. It can reveal inflammation, cirrhosis, or cancer.
A disease of the liver resulting from scar tissue that builds up after years of irritation and inflammation. Patients with
cirrhosis may experience a decrease in liver function and other serious complications. Hepatitis C may lead to cirrhosis in some patients.
Infection with more than 1 virus at the same time.
Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)
A federal law that allows employees to temporarily continue their group healthcare coverage under their employer’s plan. Employees whose insurance coverage ends because they no longer work for an employer are eligible for COBRA insurance.
Any of a body of treatment approaches within mainstream Western medicine.
A system in the body responsible for the digestion of food. The digestive system includes the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, rectum, and anus, as well as the liver, pancreas, and gallbladder.
Direct-acting antivirals (DAAs)
Drugs that block specific steps of hepatitis C virus reproduction.
A protein that helps break down chemicals or other proteins.
Family and Medical Leave Act
A federal law that requires employers to provide protected and unpaid leave to eligible employees for qualified family or medical reasons.
The condition of feeling tired, weary, irritable, and/or lacking in ambition.
A buildup of scarring where the body is trying to repair damaged tissue. In hepatitis C, liver fibrosis may occur with the progression of the disease.
A doctor who specializes in diseases of the digestive system, which includes the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, rectum, and anus, as well as the liver, pancreas, and gallbladder.
The genetic makeup of an organism or virus. The hepatitis C virus has 6 commonly known genotypes and many subtypes. The most common genotype in the United States is genotype 1.
The process of filtering blood to remove waste. This is typically done by the kidneys.
A genetic disorder that mostly affects males and causes blood to clot slowly.
Inflammation of the liver during the first 6 months of exposure to toxins or viral infection, including hepatitis C. For most people, acute hep C infection leads to chronic infection.
Inflammation of the liver lasting longer than 6 months. Chronic hepatitis C infection can last a lifetime, but often there are no symptoms of the disease. It can also lead to serious liver problems, including cirrhosis or liver cancer.
Inflammation of the liver caused by infection with one of the hepatitis viruses, including hepatitis C.
A doctor who specializes in treating liver diseases.
A substance in the body that controls how cells and organs work.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
A virus, spread when healthy blood comes in contact with infected blood, that attacks the immune system and makes it hard for the body to fight off disease.
A system that protects the body from foreign substances.
Infectious disease specialist
A doctor who specializes in treating diseases spread from many sources, including those spread from person to person, like hepatitis C and HIV.
A condition in which redness, swelling, and pain result from the body’s reaction to irritation, injury, or infection.
Within or passed through the nose.
A condition in which the skin and whites of the eyes turn yellow because of blockage of the bile duct, liver disease, or problems in the breakdown of red blood cells.
Cancer that begins in the liver. Chronic hepatitis viruses are among the known causes of liver cancer.
Proteins that block a class of enzymes that the virus needs to live. This prevents new hepatitis C viruses from forming.
Infection that occurs after recovery from a previous infection. In hepatitis C, reinfection can happen if a person comes back into contact with infected blood. Reinfection can also occur when a person gets a different viral genotype.
A return to a condition, such as hepatitis C, after recovering from it.
Sexually transmitted disease (STD)
A disease spread from person to person through sexual contact.
A doctor who has expertise in a specific branch of medicine. Doctors who specialize in the treatment of hepatitis C include gastroenterologists, hepatologists, and infectious disease specialists.
Sustained virologic response (SVR)
A condition (viral cure) in which the hepatitis C virus is below a detectable level in the blood on a test performed by a doctor several months after treatment ends.