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 illegal drugs, even once
- Shared needles, syringes, cotton, spoons, water, or other illegal drug equipment
- Received blood or had an organ transplant before 1992
- Received clotting factors made before 1987
- Ever had kidney dialysis
- Tested positive for HIV
- Ever been in prison
Experts also recommend screening if:
- You were born between 1945 and 1965
- Your mother had HCV when you were born
- You have had abnormal liver tests
- You have had any possible blood exposure
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.
StayWell last reviewed this educational content on 2/1/2020
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