Hepatitis C: Should You Get Tested?

Woman having blood drawn.

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. Especially because it can be cured.

When to get tested

Get tested if you have:

  • Injected 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 are 18 years or older

  • 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.

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