Hepatitis C: Should You Get Tested?
Hepatitis C is a disease that damages your liver. It can cause major health problems. You can even die from it. And you might not even know you have it. Hepatitis C is caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). This virus spreads from person to person through blood. You’re at risk for hepatitis C if infected blood enters your body. Are you at risk for hepatitis C? If so, get tested.
When to get tested
Get tested if you have:
Shot up drugs, even once
Shared needles, syringes, cotton, spoons, water, or other works
Received blood or had an organ transplant before 1992
Received clotting factors made before 1987
Ever had kidney dialysis
Higher than normal levels of liver enzymes in your blood
Tested positive for HIV
It is recommended that people born between 1945 and 1965 have a one-time screening test. People with abnormal liver tests should have HCV antibody testing done. If you had any possible blood exposure, hepatitis C testing is required.
Other possible risks
Ask your healthcare provider about getting tested if:
You may have had contact with infected blood at your job.
You’ve had sex without a condom with someone who may be infected.
You’ve shared personal items, such as a toothbrush or a razor, with someone who may be infected.
You have tattoos or body piercings.
January 04, 2018
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Testing for HCV Infection: An Update of Guidance for Clinicians and Laboratorians. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (2013); 62(18); pp. s362-s365
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