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    Understanding Hepatitis -- Diagnosis and Treatment

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    How Do I Know If I Have Hepatitis?

    Viral hepatitis, such as hepatitis C (HCV), hepatitis B (HBV) and hepatitis A (HAV), is diagnosed by your symptoms, a physical exam, blood tests, and other studies, such as FibroSure. Sometimes imaging studies such as a sonogram or CAT scan and a liver biopsy are also used.

    Hepatitis: Who's at Risk?

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    Hepatitis C and Other Health Conditions

    People with another form of hepatitis, HIV, hemophilia, kidney disease, and diabetes have a higher rate of infection with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) than the general population. Some conditions share a common transmission route with HCV, such as other viruses, hepatitis B, and HIV. In addition, HCV can be acquired as the result of a blood transfusion or organ transplant given to treat a disease like hemophilia or kidney disease. In some cases, the increased rate of HCV is unexplained. A recent...

    Read the Hepatitis C and Other Health Conditions article > >

    For hepatitis C, the CDC recommends that you have a blood test if any of the following is true:

    • You have received an organ transplant or transfusion in the past.
    • You have been notified that you received blood or an organ transplant from a donor who later tested positive for the disease
    • You have ever injected drugs, even once many years ago
    • You received a blood transfusion or an organ transplant before July 1992
    • You received a blood product used to treat clotting problems that was made before 1987
    • You were born between 1945 and 1965
    • You have had long-term kidney dialysis
    • You have signs or symptoms of liver disease
    • You have HIV
    • You have a known exposure to HCV
    • You have persistent elevations of a liver blood test called ALT (alanine aminotransferase levels)

    Other people for whom hepatitis C virus testing is indicated include:

    • Children born to HCV-positive mothers
    • Hospital and other health care facility workers after a needle stick or exposure to the blood of a person with HCV
    • Public safety and emergency medical workers after a needle stick or exposure to the blood of a person with HCV

    The following people who are at increased risk for contracting hepatitis B virus include:

    • People who received a blood or a blood-product transfusion prior to 1972
    • Hospital and health care workers
    • Household members of an infected person
    • Intravenous drugs users (both present and former users)
    • People who have had a tattoo or a body part pierced with an infected needle
    • Sex partners of infected people
    • Travelers to countries where HBV is endemic
    • People who were born to a mother infected with HBV
    • Transplant-organ recipients who received an infected organ

    The following groups of people should be screened for hepatitis B virus:

    • People born in areas where HBV is endemic
    • Men who have sex with men
    • Intravenous drug users (both present and former users)
    • Dialysis patients
    • HIV-infected people
    • Pregnant women
    • Family members, household members, and sex partners of HBV-infected people (even if sex occurred on only one occasion)
    • People who have had more than one sex partner within 6 months

    Otherwise, routine screening for hepatitis typically is not recommended unless you have symptoms or signs (such as abnormal liver-related blood tests) of the condition.

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