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Hepatitis C: Should You Get Tested?

Woman having blood drawn.

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.

Online Medical Reviewer: Image reviewed by StayWell art team.
Online Medical Reviewer: Lehrer, Jenifer, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Sather, Rita, RN
Date Last Reviewed: 7/1/2016
© 2000-2016 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.