Because hepatitis C doesn't always cause symptoms, you may not know you have the virus. Routine screening for hepatitis C is not typically performed unless you think you have come in to contact with a person infected with hepatitis C or if you were born between 1945 and 1965 (baby boomer screening). If you think you may have hepatitis C, your health care provider can test for it with a blood test.
The CDC recommends that you have a blood test for hepatitis C if any of the following are true:
Although genotype tests are not used to diagnose HCV infection,
they may be done before treatment begins. Knowing the genotype may help a
doctor choose the best treatment plan. You should know your genotype before
Antiviral medicines are more likely to work for people who have
genotype 2 or 3.
If blood tests show that you have responded to antiviral therapy
(the virus is not detected in your blood) after 6 months, treatment may
Continued for another 6 months, if you are
infected with genotype 1.
Stopped, if you are infected with
genotype 2 or 3. Prolonging treatment does not seem to provide any more
The genotype of HCV does not appear to have any effect on the
severity of HCV infection or to affect your risk of developing cancer of the
liver (hepatocellular carcinoma).
Primary Medical Reviewer
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
W. Thomas London, MD - Hepatology
July 6, 2011
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
July 06, 2011
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