Get Tested for Hepatitis C

How to Get Tested

Hepatitis C is diagnosed with a simple blood test — but what most people don’t know is that screening is not currently part of the routine blood tests done as a part of a regular checkup. You have to ask your health-care provider to specifically test you for hepatitis C.

Where to Get Tested

Your primary health-care provider can test you for hepatitis C, or to find a gastroenterologist in your area, click here. Gastroenterologists specialize in the digestive system and often treat patients with hepatitis C because it affects the liver.

If you do not have a health-care provider, or if you do not have insurance, here are some resources provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that may help. Some testing sites may even offer free or low-cost testing if you don’t have insurance (but be sure to ask):

  • National Prevention Information Network (NPIN) includes a searchable database of organizations and resources that offer hepatitis testing.

Should I Get Tested?

Of the nearly 5 million people in the U.S. with hepatitis C, 75 percent are unaware they have the disease, in part because there are often no symptoms for decades. It is important to get tested for hepatitis C because there are treatment options available and, unlike other infectious diseases, for many patients it can be cured.

Hepatitis C is the leading cause of liver cancer, liver failure and liver transplants in the U.S. The sooner people learn they have hepatitis C, the better their chances are of preventing liver damage.

Talk to your health-care provider about getting tested for hepatitis C if you are a baby boomer (those born between 1945 and 1965) or have one or more of the following risk factors:

  • You had a blood transfusion or organ transplant before 1992.
  • You have a tattoo or body piercing.
  • You have used intravenous drugs even once.
  • You work in a health-care setting.
  • You have HIV.

Watch this video to learn why others were tested for hepatitis C.