Hepatitis C
Diagnosis

How will I be tested for hep C?

There are several blood tests that healthcare professionals can perform to find out if you have hep C, including:

  • The hep C antibody test, which can tell if you've ever been infected with the virus.
  • The hep C virus RNA test, which can tell if you have a current infection. RNA is the virus' genetic material.
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What kind of healthcare professional should I go to?

Your primary healthcare professional or a specialist can help you understand your condition and provide appropriate care. Working together, you and your healthcare professional can find the best way to manage hep C and take care of your health. Hepatologists (who treat diseases of the liver), gastroenterologists (who treat diseases of the digestive system, including the liver), and infectious disease specialists (who treat infectious diseases) have special training and experience for treating hep C.
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What is a hep C genotype?

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A genotype is the genetic variation in the DNA of the virus you have.

There are 6 main genotypes of hep C. In the United States, about 74% of people with hep C have genotype 1. Some treatments work against all hep C genotypes, whereas others only work on some genotypes. If you and your healthcare professional determine that treatment is right for you, your genotype and your degree of liver damage will factor into the treatment decision.

What else should I know?

Besides hep C, there are other factors that can affect your liver. Consider discussing the following with your healthcare professional:

Drinking and drug use with hep c

Drinking, smoking, and drug use

People with hep C should reduce or stop drinking alcohol and smoking and check with their healthcare professional before taking any prescription pills, herbal supplements, vitamins, or over-the-counter medications. These substances can hurt your liver and cause liver damage to occur earlier.

Coinfection with hep C

Coinfection 

When someone with hep C is coinfected, it means they have been diagnosed with both the hepatitis C virus and another virus, like HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), or hepatitis A or B. Having coinfection may contribute to liver damage occurring earlier. It can also affect the management and treatment of each infection.

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Living with a
hep C diagnosis

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