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HEPATITIS C

Frequently Asked Questions

What is hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is a contagious liver infection caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). It is the most common chronic blood-borne infection in the United States with about 3.2 million people testing positive. Hepatitis C is spread through contact with contaminated blood during intravenous drug use (sharing of needles) or in healthcare settings by health professionals. HCV is rarely spread through sexual intercourse. It is possible to have Hepatitis C and not know it because early stages of the infection could be asymptomatic (no symptoms) or show mild fever . It takes 8-9 weeks for HCV antibodies to develop in the body.

How do you test for hepatitis C?

Our FDA-approved Hepatitis C Antibody Test is a blood test. As the industry "gold standard" for hepatitis C tests, it searches for antibodies released by the body to fight the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Our doctors recommend this hepatitis C antibody blood test for routine HCV screenings for acute (new) and chronic (long-term) infections.

How is hepatitis C transmitted?

Hepatitis C is transmitted through contact with contaminated blood mostly through intravenous drug use or exposure in healthcare settings. It is sometimes spread through oral, anal or vaginal sex as well as blood transfusions and organ transplants.

How soon can I get tested for hepatitis C after exposure?

Hepatitis C antibody tests can detect the presence of HCV 8-9 weeks after exposure. Our doctors recommend giving your body enough time to develop antibodies to the hepatitis C virus before taking the test to eliminate any chances of false positive results.

What do I need to do to prepare for a hepatitis C test

You do not need to do anything or fast to prepare for the hepatitis C test. Our testing center needs only a small amount of blood.

See our Hepatitis C Testing Information.