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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 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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