Have you been exposed to hepatitis C? Get tested to find out
Hepatitis refers to inflammation and damage to the liver. The most common causes of hepatitis are three viruses known as hepatitis A, B, and C. The hepatitis C virus causes only acute (short-term) infections in some individuals, but can cause chronic (long-term) infection in others.
The hepatitis C virus is usually transmitted through exposure to blood from an infected individual, commonly through sharing needles. Other exposures can be at birth, sexual intercourse, blood transfusions and organ transplants, and tattoos or body piercings.
Hepatitis C is usually effectively treated with antiviral medications. Treatment slows down the progression of inflammation and scarring of the liver and reduces the chances of liver cancer.
Why consider this test?
The CDC recommends hepatitis B testing for:
- All adults at least once in a lifetime, except in populations where the prevalence of hepatitis C is less than 0.1%
- All pregnant women during each pregnancy
- HIV-positive individuals
- Anyone who has ever used injectable drugs (routine testing for current users)
- People with abnormal liver tests and/or liver disease
- Anyone who received donated blood or organs before July 1992 or clotting factor concentrates before 1987
- Anyone who has been potentially exposed to the blood of an infected individual