Hepatitis C (Hep C) Complex Care Clinic

Submit request or call to make an appointment.

The Norton Complex Care Clinic in downtown Louisville is devoted to treating and curing patients with hepatitis C.

Viral hepatitis slowly attacks the liver, so patients typically don’t have symptoms. Hepatitis C patients are at very high risk for liver cancer.

The infectious diseases specialists at the Norton Complex Care Clinic have the experience to give you a precise diagnosis and develop a customized treatment plan that may be able to cure your hepatitis C.

The treatments used to cure hepatitis C are called direct-acting antivirals. When taken as prescribed, these direct-acting antivirals have a 95% to 98% cure rate.

Left untreated, chronic hepatitis C can lead to serious liver conditions, including fibrosis (scarring of the liver), cirrhosis, liver failure and liver cancer.

The Norton Complex Care Clinic offers a special treatment plan for pregnant mothers in conjunction with their OB/GYN to make sure mom and baby receive the care they need.

Hepatitis C Symptoms

Chronic viral hepatitis, most commonly in the forms of hepatitis A, hepatitis B or hepatitis C, typically has no symptoms for many years. Even though the virus is silent, it is actively damaging the liver.

Few people with a hepatitis C infection feel ill while the virus is in their bodies. The symptoms tend to be mild and flu-like. Fatigue is the most common symptom of a hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.

Many people with newly acquired HCV infection tend to be asymptomatic or have mild symptoms that are unlikely to prompt a visit to a health care professional. When symptoms do occur, they can include:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Dark urine
  • Clay-colored stool
  • Abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Joint pain
  • Jaundice

Symptoms of Chronic Liver Disease

  • Bleeding easily
  • Bruising easily
  • Itchy skin
  • Fluid buildup in the abdomen
  • Swelling in the legs
  • Weight loss
  • Confusion, drowsiness and slurred speech
  • Spider-like blood vessels on the skin 

Hepatitis C typically spreads only through contact with infected blood. Most people become infected with hepatitis C through sharing needles or other injection-related equipment. Hepatitis B, however, can spread through any bodily fluid carrying viral hepatitis. There is a vaccine for hepatitis B. The hepatitis B vaccine is administered with two or three doses after age 19.

Hepatitis C testing is conducted during at least one prenatal visit in Kentucky. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends HCV testing — a simple blood test — for those with an increased risk of infection. 

A follow-up test, HCV RNA, measures the amount of hepatitis C virus in the bloodstream. This test delivers a very precise number, often called the viral load, that helps measure the effectiveness of treatment. 

Risk Factors

According to the CDC, those with an increased risk for hepatitis C infection include: 

  • People with HIV infection
  • Those who inject drugs currently or anytime in the past
  • People who received clotting factor concentrates produced before 1987
  • People who received a blood transfusion or transfusion of blood components before July 1992
  • People who received an organ transplant before July 1992
  • Anyone notified that they received blood from a donor who later tested positive for HCV infection
  • Health care, emergency medical services and public safety personnel after needle sticks, sharps, or mucosal exposures to hepatitis C virus-positive blood
  • Children born to mothers with HCV infection

What to Expect From Hepatitis C Treatment

At Norton Complex Care Clinic, we take a comprehensive approach to treating your hepatitis C. Treatment plans consist of four appointments in total through the entire treatment process. While each treatment plan can vary, these are the typical steps:

Our specialists will start your treatment by gathering your medical history and may include blood tests.    

We’ll examine you for any liver damage with a painless, noninvasive scan to determine the health of your liver.

At a follow-up appointment to the clinic, you will receive your results from hepatitis C testing and details on the recommended hepatitis C treatment. Treatment usually lasts eight to 12 weeks but may vary depending on the type of hepatitis C infection you have and the medicine your provider prescribes. Our team will walk you through the process for getting your medication for treatment. 

Norton Specialty Pharmacy will contact you for a consultation to discuss your medications, go over how to take them and possible side effects, and provide answers to your questions. Patients typically receive their medications to begin treatment within a week.

A follow-up visit is required after completing four weeks of treatment. 

Finally, once you have completed treatment, you will return for a six-month blood test to confirm that the active hepatitis C virus is gone. If you’re pregnant or nursing, your care plan can look different. Learn more about our pregnancy and hepatitis C program.

In the first six months after exposure, the disease is considered acute hepatitis C. For about a quarter of these patients the virus clears out of their system after a few months. More often, infection develops into a chronic hepatitis C infection.  

Norton Complex Care Clinic

Norton Cancer Institute – Downtown
676 S. Floyd St., lower level
Louisville, KY 40202
Phone: (502) 629-6250

Related Stories

Even when your fever goes away, you still can spread the flu for about 24 hours
Is it a Mpox rash or something minor?
Mpox questions and answers
Study looks at how to detect RSV in adults

Schedule an Appointment

Select an appointment date and time from available spots listed below.