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What is Hepatitis C?
“Hepatitis” means inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis C is a contagious liver disease that ranges in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious, lifelong illness that attacks the liver. It results from infection with the Hepatitis C virus (HCV), which is spread primarily through contact with the blood of an infected person. An estimated 2.7-3.9 million people in the United States have chronic hepatitis C.
Who should get tested for Hepatitis C?
Talk to us about being tested for Hepatitis C if any of the following are true:
- You were born from 1945 through 1965. The CDC issued a recommendation that all Americans born from 1945-1965 get tested for hepatitis C. People in this age group are five times more likely to have hepatitis C, but most do not know they are infected. If you were born from 1945-1965, talk to your doctor about getting tested.
- You are a current or former injection drug user, even if you injected only one time or many years ago.
- You were treated for a blood clotting problem before 1987.
- You received a blood transfusion or organ transplant before July 1992.
- You are on long-term hemodialysis treatment.
- You have abnormal liver tests or liver disease.
- You work in health care or public safety and were exposed to blood through a needlestick or other sharp object injury.
NOTE: To be eligible for free Hep C rapid testing you must have at least one of the following HIV Blood draw, Syphilis blood draw, Chlamydia testing or Gonorrhea testing.