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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.

Woman having blood drawn.

Get Tested If:

  • You’ve ever shot drugs, even once.

  • You’ve shared needles, syringes, cotton, spoons, water, or other works.

  • You received blood or had an organ transplant before 1992.

  • You received clotting factors made before 1987.

  • You’ve ever had kidney dialysis.

  • Your doctor has found higher than normal levels of liver enzymes in your blood.

Other Possible Risks

Ask about getting tested if:

  • You may have had contact with infected blood at your job.

  • You’ve had unprotected sex (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.

Online Medical Reviewer: Erlich, Kim Steven, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Tiffany, Jennifer S, PhD
Date Last Reviewed: 2/7/2012
© 2000-2014 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.