HCV CARE

Should You Be Tested?

Why You Should Be Tested for Hep C

May 2014

Hepatitis C Consumer Testing Card (Click to download)

This double sided card is aimed at increasing hepatitis C screening among persons at-risk for hepatitis C, including those born between 1945 and 1965. The card outlines who should be screened for hepatitis C and includes information on the hepatitis C screening methods and test result interpretations.

Why You Should Be Tested for Hep C

There are things you can do to fight hepatitis C. Early detection can help. Knowing your hep C status will help prevent transmission to others. Hep C is a curable condition for most people. Better treatments are available with fewer side effects.

Even if you do not start treatment, there are a few things you can still do to keep your liver healthy, such as avoiding alcohol and getting vaccinated for hepatitis A and B. 

GET TESTED
For a list of free hepatitis C testing sites in New York State go to: www.health.ny.gov/hepatitis

What is Hepatitis C?

March 2014

Download the Hepatitis C Consumer Testing Card 

Hepatitis C (Hep C) is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus. Hepatitis C can lead to serious liver damage. Hepatitis C progresses slowly and often has no symptoms. Many people have hepatitis C and don’t know it. The only way to know if you have hepatitis C is to get tested.

Get Tested for Hepatitis C If You . . .

  • Injected drugs, even just once many years ago
  • Were born from 1945-1965 (Baby Boomers)*
  • Received donated blood or organs before 1992
  • Received clotting factor before 1987
  • Got a tattoo or body piercing from an unlicensed artist, such as on the street or while in jail
  • Are HIV positive
  • Were exposed to blood on the job through a needlestick or injury with a sharp object
  • Were ever on long-term dialysis
  • Snorted drugs

*In New York State, health care providers are required by law to offer anyone born between 1945 and 1965 a test for hepatitis C.

GET TESTED
For a list of free hepatitis C testing sites in New York State go to: www.health.ny.gov/hepatitis

 

Hepatitis C Antibody Test and Results

March 2014

Download the Hepatitis C Consumer Testing Card 

A hepatitis C antibody test is a blood test that looks for antibodies to the hepatitis C virus. The test can be done by collecting a blood sample and sending it to a lab, or by a fingerstick using a hepatitis C rapid antibody test. The hepatitis C antibody test will tell you if you have ever been infected with hepatitis C. You may need a second test to know if you are currently infected.

If the test result is NON-REACTIVE/NEGATIVE:

  • A non-reactive or negative antibody test means that you are not currently infected with the hepatitis C virus.
  • However, if you have engaged in risky behavior in the last 6 months, you will need to be tested again.
  • Your non-reactive test result does not protect you from getting hepatitis C in the future.

If the test result is REACTIVE/POSITIVE:

  • A reactive or positive antibody test means that you have antibodies to hepatitis C in your blood.
  • You were exposed to hepatitis C at one time. You are probably infected with hepatitis C.
  • You will need a second test to know for sure.

Take the second test–KNOW FOR SURE:

  • This second test is called an RNA test. Another name used for this test is a PCR test. The RNA test checks for hepatitis C virus in your blood.
  • If you don’t have the virus in your blood, this test will come back undetectable. If the test comes back detectable, then you have hepatitis C.
GET TESTED
For a list of free hepatitis C testing sites in New York State go to: www.health.ny.gov/hepatitis