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Viral Hepatitis

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Hepatitis C: Birth Cohort Testing

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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

Risk Factors for Hepatitis C

  • Were born between 1945 and 1965
  • Are a current or former injection drug user or have ever shared needles, syringes, or other equipment to inject or snort drugs, even if it was many years ago
  • Were treated for a blood clotting problem before 1987
  • Received a blood transfusion or organ transplant before July 1992
  • Are on kidney dialysis treatment
  • Are a Vietnam-era Veteran
  • Have abnormal liver test results or liver disease
  • Work in health care or public safety and were exposed to blood through a needlestick or injury with another sharp object on the job
  • Are infected with HIV
  • Had multiple sex partners
  • Have current or past sex partner(s) with HCV infection
  • Obtained tattoos or body-piercings in non-regulated settings
  • Have a history of alcohol abuse or dependence
  • Were born to a mother infected with HCV
  • Were incarcerated