Things that may raise the risk of this problem are:
- Injecting illegal drugs, especially with shared needles
- Receiving a blood transfusion before 1992—this risk is low in the United States (current testing prevents this today)
- Receiving blood clotting products before 1987 (current testing prevents this today)
- Receiving an HCV-infected organ transplant
- Long-term kidney dialysis treatment
- Sharing toothbrushes, razors, nail clippers, or other personal hygiene items that have HCV-infected blood on them
- Body piercing
- Having sex with partners who have hepatitis C
Things that may raise the risk of this problem in healthcare workers are:
- Being accidentally stuck by an HCV-infected needle
- Frequent contact with HCV-infected people
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. This may be enough to suspect the diagnosis.
Blood tests will be done to confirm hepatitis by looking for:
- Signs of the virus
- Antibodies—signs that the immune system is fighting an infection
- Changes in liver function
The diagnosis may may be made as part of a routine screening test during a regular exam.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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a (HCV; Hep C)
American Liver Foundation https://liverfoundation.org
Hepatitis Foundation International https://hepatitisfoundation.org
Sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/std/tg2015/default.htm. Accessed January 29, 2021.
Acute hepatitis C infection. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/acute-hepatitis-c-infection. Accessed December 30, 2020.
American Society for the Study of Liver Disease/Infectious Diseases Society of America (AASLD/IDSA). HCV Guidance: Recommendations for Testing, Managing, and Treating Hepatitis C. AASLD/IDSA 2018 May 24.
Chronic hepatitis C infection. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/chronic-hepatitis-c-infection. Accessed December 30, 2020.
Viral hepatitis—hepatitis C information. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hcv/index.htm. Accessed December 30, 2020.