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How do doctors test for hepatitis C?

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A simple blood test can tell if you've ever had the virus. The results usually come back in a few days, but some clinics have rapid versions that can be read in as little as 20 minutes. If it comes back negative, but there's a chance you were exposed in the last 6 months, get tested again.

If the first results are positive, you had hepatitis C at some point. A second test will check to see if the original case cleared up or became chronic (as it does in most people). If it's chronic, you'll need to see a doctor who specializes in treating the disease.

SOURCES:

CDC: "Hepatitis C FAQs for Health Professionals," "Hepatitis C Fact Sheet," "Hepatitis C: What to Expect When Getting Tested," "Living with Chronic Hepatitis C."

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on November 12, 2017

SOURCES:

CDC: "Hepatitis C FAQs for Health Professionals," "Hepatitis C Fact Sheet," "Hepatitis C: What to Expect When Getting Tested," "Living with Chronic Hepatitis C."

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on November 12, 2017

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