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Viral Hepatitis


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Screening Veterans for Hepatitis C Infection

for Health Care Providers

Screening Veterans for Hepatitis C Infection

Hepatitis C is an important public health issue in the veteran community. Since 1998, the Veterans Health Administration has initiated and implemented a comprehensive National Hepatitis C Program to screen veterans for HCV.

The following is a list of criteria that the VA uses to screen veterans for HCV infection:

  • Patient was born between 1945 and 1965, or
  • Patient desires to be tested, or
  • One or more of the following risks are identified:
    • Prior or current intravenous drug use
    • Blood transfusion or organ transplantation before 1992
    • Hemodialysis
    • Vietnam-era Veteran, defined by dates of service from 1964 through 1975
    • Health care or public safety workers after a needlestick injury or mucosal exposure to HCV-positive blood
    • Tattoos or body-piercings obtained in non-regulated settings
    • Intranasal drug users who have shared equipment to snort drugs
    • 50 or more lifetime sexual partners
    • Current or past sexual exposure to an HCV-infected partner
    • Persons with HIV infection
    • Treated for a blood clotting problem prior to 1987
    • Abnormal liver function test results
    • Born to a mother with HCV
    • Incarceration

Clinicians are urged to utilize the Hepatitis C Virus Antibody Screening Flow Chart if there is a presence or history of any of the above criteria. To learn more about diagnostic tests for HCV, please see the provider education section on Laboratory Tests and HCV. Also see the HCV screening recommendations published by the U.S. Preventive Services Task ForceLink will take you outside the VA website. VA is not responsible for the content of the linked site. and the U.S. Centers for Disease ControlLink will take you outside the VA website..