Many thousands of people have hep C but don’t know they have it. It is very important to know if you have hep C. This is because hep C is now easy to cure since new treatments became available in 2016.
There are simple blood tests for hep C but who should have the test?
- people who have injected drugs or steroids
- people who have ever been in prison
- people who have had blood transfusions, blood products or organ transplant in Australia before February 1990
- people who have a tattoo or body piercing
- people who have emigrated from countries where hep C is widespread
- men who have sex with men
- anyone born to a mother who was hep C positive during her pregnancy
- people who have had a needle-stick injury
- people who don’t fit the above profiles but have abnormal liver function tests or who are experiencing hep C symptoms
Testing for hep C starts off with a hep C antibody test. This test looks for human antibodies – something that your body produces to fight the virus.
If your hep C antibody test result is “positive” your sample of blood is tested again using a PCR test. This test looks for parts of the actual hep C virus. If the PCR test result is “positive” it means that you have hep C. (PCR stands for polymerase chain reaction)
Do you feel you might be at risk of hep C? Call our Hepatitis Infoline (below).
Do you think you didn’t get the correct test? Maybe you don’t really have hep C. Call the Hepatitis Infoline for more info (below).
Do you want more info about hep C testing?
This page last updated 9 Jan 2018