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Viral Hepatitis

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Hepatitis C: Birth Cohort Testing

for Health Care Providers

Birth Cohort Testing

Introduction

According to CDC, in the United States a disproportionately high number of people born between 1945 and 1965 have hepatitis C. Many of these individuals are unaware they are infected, and thus do not receive care or treatment. For this reason, all Veterans born between 1945 and 1965 should be offered testing for hepatitis C. Veterans with current or historical risk factors should also be offered a test for hepatitis C. Risk factors are listed below.

References and Resources

Recommendations for Hepatitis C Screening

1. All persons born between 1945 and 1965

OR

2. All persons with 1 or more of the following risk factors:

  • Has ever used a needle to inject drugs, even if once and long ago
  • Had a blood transfusion or organ transplant before 1992
  • Is a health care worker who had blood exposure to mucous membranes or non-intact skin, or via a needlestick injury
  • Was on long-term kidney dialysis
  • Was born to a mother who had hepatitis C at the time
  • Is a Vietnam-era Veteran
  • Had contact with HCV-infected blood to non-intact skin or to mucous membranes
  • Has tattoos or body piercings
  • Has ever snorted drugs and shared equipment
  • Has liver disease or abnormal liver function test
  • Has a history of alcohol abuse
  • Has a history of hemophilia
  • Has a sex partner with hepatitis C, or had one in the past
  • Has had 10 or more lifetime sex partners
  • Has HIV infection
  • Had other potential blood-to-blood exposure, during military service or at another time

OR

3. Any person who wishes to be tested.