Healthsheet

Hepatitis C: Should You Get Tested?

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.