Tell me about hepatitis C testing.
Our doctors have selected the Hepatitis C Antibody Test (Anti-HVC) to detect the hepatitis C virus in blood. If you have been exposed to the virus, your body will make antibodies to fight it and this test identifies those antibodies. This FDA-approved test is used to screen for hepatitis C.
Is this a Blood Test or a Urine Test?
The Hepatitis C Test is a blood test. When you get to the lab, the lab technician will draw one small tube of blood. There's no need to get undressed or have any uncomfortable swabbing.
Will I Need to Fast or Prepare for the Test?
There is no preparation needed for the Hepatitis C Blood Test. You do not need to fast.
What Will the Test Results Tell Me?
Hepatitis C Test results are either positive or negative. Positive means the test found hepatitis C. Negative means you did not show any signs of hepatitis C.
In the U.S., 10% of positives turn out to be “false positives,” meaning you don't have hepatitis C, but antibodies to hepatitis C were detected on the test. Your body may have fought off a hepatitis C infection in the past and you were cured without any treatment. Up to 30% of the time, the body cures itself of hepatitis C. If you do test positive, our experts recommend additional testing to determine whether this is truly an active infection.
Is hepatitis C Curable?
Yes, hepatitis C is curable and as many as 30% of people with hepatitis C will "cure" their own infection without any specific treatment. Depending on the severity of symptoms, no treatment is necessary and most people don't ever recognize that they are sick with hepatitis C, since the symptoms are mild or seem more like the flu.
Acute (new) hepatitis C is best managed through supportive care... a healthy diet, fluids and plenty of rest. Also, a liver specialist called a hepatologist should monitor you.
If left untreated, chronic or long term hepatitis C can lead to liver failure. At that stage it is not curable but there are treatment options that can help stop the virus from getting worse. Finding out you have hepatitis C before it gets to an advanced stage increases your chance of completely suppressing the virus with medication.
Who Should Be Tested for hepatitis C?
It's recommended that those born between the years 1945 - 1965 and those receiving blood transfusions before 1992 should test for hepatitis C. If you live with someone who is infected with hepatitis C or if you have had a sexual encounter with someone who has hepatitis C, you should be tested. Consider hepatitis C testing as part of routine STD screening, especially if you have had unprotected sex with someone whose STD status you do not know or are concerned about.
If you have
- never been tested...
- had more than 1 partner...
- had unprotected sex since your last test...
Or if you are
- only concerned about a recent sexual encounter and want to get tested for a new infection...
- Our doctors recommend testing in 2 weeks and then again in 6 weeks for the most accurate results.
- FDA-approved or gold standard diagnostic tests performed at CLIA-certified labs.
- Results usually in 3 business days or less
- Confidential and secure treatment of your information
- Speak with a Care Advisor 6am-10pm CT, 7 days a week
- Discuss your results with a doctor, when appropriate
- Treatment or referral available, when appropriate