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Should I be tested for hepatitis C?

BMJ Group Medical Reference

The only way to tell if you have hepatitis C is to have a blood test.

In the UK, doctors advise certain groups of people to be tested for the virus that causes hepatitis C. This is because they have a high risk of getting infected.

We've listed the groups here. [4] [5] [6] [7]

  • People who have used needles to inject illegal drugs, even if it was many years ago.

  • People who got a blood transfusion before 1991 or were given products made from blood before 1986.

  • Health care workers who have been injured with a needle that had blood on it or who have got splashed in the eye with blood.

  • Babies of mothers who have hepatitis C (babies can be tested after they are between 12 months and 18 months old).

  • People who have been in a long-term sexual relationship with a partner who has hepatitis C.

  • People who have had medical or dental treatment in other countries with equipment that wasn't cleaned properly.

  • People who have had ear piercing, body piercing, tattooing, or acupuncture with equipment that was not cleaned properly.

Glossary

blood transfusion

If you've lost too much blood from your body, you may need a blood transfusion to replace it. People with diseases of their blood, like sickle cell anaemia, sometimes need blood transfusions to replace blood that doesn't work properly.

For more terms related to Hepatitis C

Citations

For references related to Hepatitis C click here.
Last Updated: February 17, 2011
This information does not replace medical advice.  If you are concerned you might have a medical problem please ask your Boots pharmacy team in your local Boots store, or see your doctor.

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