Viral hepatitis, such as hepatitis C (HCV), hepatitis B (HBV) and hepatitis A (HAV), is diagnosed by your symptoms, a physical exam, blood tests, imaging studies such as a sonogram or CAT scan, and sometimes a liver biopsy.
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Other people who should consider getting tested for hepatitis C virus include:
Children born to HCV-positive mothers (check only after 18 months of age to avoid a false positive result)
Household members of an infected person if toothbrushes, razors, or other objects that may transmit HCV have been shared
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
People who have had a tattoo or a body part pierced with non-disposable needles and ink
The sex partner of an HCV-positive person, if traumatic sex or bleeding due to breaks in the skin or other reasons (such as prostatitis -- an inflammation of the prostate gland with occasional bleeding) may have occurred. HCV is generally not transmitted through sexual contact.
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