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Viral Hepatitis

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Should You Get Tested for Hepatitis C?

for Veterans and the Public

Should I get tested?

Talk with your VA healthcare provider about being tested if any of the following are true for you.

If you:

  • Wish to be tested
  • Have ever used a needle to inject drugs, even if once and long ago
  • Had a blood transfusion or organ transplant before 1992
  • Are a health care worker who had blood exposure to mucous membranes or to non-intact skin, or a needlestick injury
  • Were on long-term kidney dialysis
  • Were born of a mother who had hepatitis C at the time
  • Are a Vietnam-era Veteran
  • Had contact with hepatitis-C-positive blood to non-intact skin or to mucous membranes
  • Have tattoos or body piercings in non-regulated settings
  • Have ever snorted drugs or shared equipment
  • Have liver disease or abnormal liver function test
  • Have a history of alcohol abuse
  • Have hemophilia and received clotting factor before 1987
  • Have had a sexual partner with Hepatitis C, now or in the past
  • Have had 10 or more lifetime sexual partners
  • Have HIV infection

If you are at risk for hepatitis C, you should consider getting tested. You have to get blood tests to find out if you have HCV because the symptoms of hepatitis C infection often are very mild. In fact, you may not have any symptoms at all.

If you are diagnosed with hepatitis C, you can begin to get the health care and support you need. You will need to learn how to take care of your liver and yourself. You will also need to learn how to avoid giving the virus to others. Because it stays in your body, you can give the hepatitis C virus to others (such as family members and sexual partners).