You may prefer to find out on your own whether you have been infected
hepatitis C virus.
You can buy a home test called a Home Access Hepatitis C Check kit,
which you can find in most drugstores. The kit contains a sharp instrument
(lancet) that you use to draw a small amount of blood from your
Most people are surprised to learn they have hepatitis C. Many people believe they were never at risk for acquiring this virus. They, therefore, cannot imagine how they contracted it. Other people have a definable risk factor, such as a history of intravenous drug use, but feel that it occurred such a long time ago that it has no relevance. And some people do not know exactly how they contracted it. In fact, the CDC now recommends that all baby boomers – those born between 1945-1965 get tested...
You place the sample on a piece of collection paper and mail it in a
prepaid envelope to a lab for testing. After 10 days, you can call a toll-free
number and receive your results using your confidential identification
If the test shows you have hepatitis C, it is important to make an
appointment with your doctor to discuss the results. The home test only looks
for hepatitis C
antibodies, which indicate that you have been exposed
to the virus in the past. The test does not tell you if you currently have an
infection. Your doctor can order another test that looks for hepatitis C virus
RNA. This test can tell if you have an active
infection now. Additional testing can also determine how much liver damage you
have and help you decide whether you want to try antiviral medicines.
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
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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