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.