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Should you be tested for hepatitis C?

All adults should be tested for this virus, both to protect themselves and others.

Everyone 18 and older should be tested for hepatitis C at least once, and all women should be tested during each pregnancy. Children born to an infected mother also should be tested. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the following people are at higher risk for hepatitis C:

  • People who have injected illegal drugs at any time in their life, even if it was just once or many years ago.
  • Those who received a blood transfusion or organ transplant before July 1992.
  • People treated for a blood clotting problem prior to 1987.
  • Anyone who has been on long-term kidney dialysis.
  • Children born to an infected mother.
  • Healthcare and public-safety workers who are exposed to blood through a needlestick or other sharp-object injury.
  • People who have abnormal liver tests or liver problems.
  • People infected with HIV.
  • People with body piercing or tattoos that may have been performed with non-sterile equipment.

If any of the above applies to you, you may want to be tested regularly. Talk to your doctor about being tested, or call your local public health department for information.

Reviewed 10/18/2022

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