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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.

  • You tested positive for HIV

People born from 1945 to 1965must get tested. People with abnormal liver tests should hve HCV antibody testing done. If you had any possible blood exposur, hepatitis C testing is required.

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: MMI board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Online Medical Reviewer: Taylor, Wanda, L., RN, PhD.
Date Last Reviewed: 3/24/2014
© 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.