Hepatitis C Test
Hepatitis C Test is used to detect, diagnose and monitor the treatment of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) infection. An HCV test is done to look out for any past exposure or presence of current infection. This test identifies the occurrence of antibodies to this virus, pointing to the exposure to HCV.
It is highly recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that all positive antibody tests must be followed up by an HCV RNA test which determines viral RNA in blood to examine whether the person carries an active infection or not.
The HCV antibody test may also be carried out in order to find out which, out of the most usual hepatitis viruses, is causing symptoms to a person.
A great ratio of diagnostic tests are available for Hepatitis C which include Recombinant Immunoblot Assay, ELISA or HCV Antibody Enzyme Immunoassay, and Quantitative HCV RNA Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). An HCV RNA can be determined by PCR specifically within one to two weeks on exposure to infection, while the antibodies can take a considerably longer duration to develop and hence be identified.
Hepatitis C Testing Options & Which One Should You Choose?
Just like most of the other tests, Hepatitis C Test also begins with testing of a blood sample to check for the presence of antibodies to an HCV. A number of other tests are also available as a part of care testing for which the results are delivered within 30 minutes.
Liver Biopsy is carried out in order to examine the level of liver damage. However, due to the availability of a wide variety of tests, the necessity for biopsy gets alleviated too.
Screening is mainly recommended to those people who carry an elevated level of liver enzymes as this is considered as the sole symptom of chronic hepatitis. However, at present, routine screening is not suggested by doctors.
Where to get tested for Hepatitis C?
You can get tested for Hepatitis C at one of our STD Testing centers. You have to book your test online through our website before you visit our test center.
We have more than 4000 certified Hepatitis C testing centers in the United States out of which you can choose any center closest to your location and visit there to get tested.
Getting tested is easy, just choose the test center nearest to you with your Zip Code and make the payment online for your test. Now visit the test center and get tested.
Want to Get Tested for Hepatitis C?
Find an STD testing center near you with your area zip code.
How to order a Hepatitis C Test?
Ordering for this test via the internet has become a piece of cake. You can just click on the button below and register for the test online.
On our website, you will find different Hepatitis C testing options. You can take an individual test or a panel test to get tested for Hepatitis C. The individual test for Hepatitis C cost $24. However, a package involving multiple tests such as Hepatitis A, B and C can be booked collectively for a price of $72.
After you select the test, we'll ask you to find a test center near you using your area code.
Further, you can create your profile on our website and make the payment for the test you've chosen.
Online payment is required as our testing centers do not accept payments in any form.
After your order is placed, you will receive an e-mail including a “Lab Requisition Form” along with a test code and the address of the selected STD center. Just take this form to the testing center and get tested in less than 5 minutes.
When is The Right Time to Get Tested For Hepatitis C?
On an average, a time period of approximately 8-9 weeks is required by the body to create antibodies. Therefore, the same time is recommended by doctors to get tested for Hepatitis C. However, different people respond in different ways to HCV. It is also suggested that follow-up tests should be done after 3 months of exposure to this infection just to confirm that HCV is not active any more.
How to Prepare for The Hepatitis C Test?
In order to test for Hepatitis C, a blood sample is taken and tested for the presence of antibodies. Therefore, no prior preparation is required for this test as it just includes blood test.
How is the test done?
How is Hepatitis C Test is Done?
Hepatitis C Virus is detected with the help of FDA-approved Hepatitis C Antibody Test. This test explores the blood for antibodies which are produced by the body against the virus. The technicians draw a small blood sample in order to conduct this test. This test does not involve undressing or uncomfortable swabbing.
What is Hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C is a liver-infection which is caused by the notorious Hepatitis C Virus, also known as HCV. This disease does not cause a lot of symptoms; therefore a large number of affected people are not even aware about this infection.
This virus exists in the liver in proportions of about 75% to 85% of those people who are initially infected by HCV. Early chronic infection does not show any typical symptoms. Over a period of several years, however, it leads towards a serious liver disease and sometimes cirrhosis as well. In the cases involving cirrhosis, people develop complications like liver failure, esophageal, liver cancer, and other gastric varices.
Unlike Hepatitis A or B, there are no vaccines available against the Hepatitis C Virus. Preventive measures must be taken by people who have a habit of using drip drugs or test donated blood. With the help of medications, even chronic infection can be treated and cured. However, gaining access to the latest treatments can prove to be quite expensive. For people who develop liver cancer or cirrhosis, liver transplant may also be required for the treatment. Hepatitis C infection is one of the leading reasons for liver transplantation.
It is predicted that about 130–200 million persons are diseased with Hepatitis C infection worldwide. Approximately 11 million new cases of Hepatitis C occurred in 2013 alone.
Because of lack of awareness about the symptoms or because the symptoms are not very prominent, a large number of people do not realize that they are carrying the communicable infection of Hepatitis C. Therefore, a test for such an infection is always advised by the doctors in order to be on the safer side.
Symptoms of Hepatitis C
A large number of infected people do not show any prominent symptoms for this infection. However, the following symptoms can be observed in order to get yourself tested:
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach pain
Doctors stress on the point that one must get the tests done for Hepatitis C in order to make sure that he/she does not carry this infection. The symptoms, being really mild, do not usually prompt a person to go for tests.
Frequently Asked Questions
What not to do when you have Hepatitis C?
People who are infected with HCV must take a few preventive measures to avoid transmitting the disease further and to prohibit their own health from deteriorating further.
- Do not consume alcohol unless the doctor permits its consumption as it can increase the pace of liver damage.
- Street drugs must also be avoided such as marijuana as it leads to quicker scarring of liver.
- Do not smoke as it can increase the risk of liver cancer.
- Do not donate blood
- Sleeping pills must also be avoided
- Do not engage in sexual intercourse without the use of precautionary measure such as condoms
How is Hepatitis C treated?
Treatment of Hepatitis C depends largely on the fact whether the infection is acute or chronic. In many cases, no treatment may be required and most of the people do not even realize that they are infected by HCV because of its mild and flu-like symptoms.
Acute (new) Hepatitis C can be treated by following a healthy diet, taking sufficient rest and plenty of fluids. It is also suggested to get the liver tested from a specialist to make sure that the liver has not been affected.
Chronic Hepatitis C infection can cause a much serious liver disease, leading to liver failure too. Treating this disease before it reaches the chronic level increases the chance of getting rid of this infection without much complication. Hence, it is always recommended to get the tests done and start the treatment at the earliest.
What happens if Hepatitis C is left untreated?
If Hepatitis C is left untreated in the initial stage, it can lead to serious complications such as liver diseases. Furthermore, an extreme case can also lead to liver failure too which might prove to be fatal if still not treated by an expert. It might get transmitted to your close-ones too and affect them further throughout their life.