How Hepatitis C Is Diagnosed
To determine a hepatitis C diagnosis, your doctor will:
- Get your medical history .
- Perform a physical exam, especially checking for changes in skin color, swelling in your lower extremities, and tenderness in your abdomen.
- Order certain diagnostic blood tests.
The first diagnostic tool in the screening process is a blood test that screens for HCV antibodies proteins the body produces in response to the virus. An enzyme immunoassay is used to perform this test.
A negative result for the antibody test means that you’ve never had HCV in your blood, while a positive result means you were exposed to the virus at some point in your life. Up to a quarter of people spontaneously clear the virus from their blood within six months of contracting it.
Because EIA sometimes produces false-positive results, a test called recombinant immunoblot assay may be used to confirm that you have the HCV antibody. This test is not necessary for most patients, and it is more commonly performed by blood banks to check for the virus in donated blood.
A negative EIA result may just mean that your body has not yet produced the HCV antibody , and you may need to be tested again in a few months.
If you have a positive antibody test, your doctor will then use another blood sample to conduct a qualitative polymerase chain reaction test or a process called transcription-mediated amplification , which looks for the presence or absence of RNA of HCV in your blood.
How To Test For Hep C
If you suspect you may have a hepatitis C infection, taking a hepatitis C test can be a great start in addition to consulting your healthcare provider for next steps. Our at-home hepatitis C test is a convenient way to check for this virus. To check for hepatitis C with this test, you just collect a small sample of blood with a simple finger prick, then ship the sample to a lab for testing with the prepaid shipping label that comes with the kit.
If your results from our hepatitis C test indicate that you do have this viral infection, share your results with your healthcare provider right away so you can take the next steps they recommend.
Which Is The Worst Hepatitis
With the newest forms of antiviral treatment, most people can be cured from hepatitis C. With each generation there have been new advancements in medication that will cure you! Not long ago treatment was limited to injections like Interferon Alpha 2b or pegylated interferons alpha-2b/pregnancy related version called PEG Intensived 26A. These medications need to be Subcutaneous injection which is not pleasant at all for someone who has had countless shots before with little relief plus side effects are another thing altogether too scary sounding one moment Im healthy as ever then BAM instant stomach acheor muscle pain across my whole back and shoulders? What?? Ribavirin.
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When Should I Test For Hep C
Many people dont feel sick when they first get hep C. If you are exposed to hep C, your body will try and fight the virus for 6 months. 1 in 4 people will clear hep C in those first 6 months.
People who dont clear their hep C will have whats called chronic hep C. You can get tested for hep C straight after you think you have been exposed, but you will need to go back for another test after 12 weeks and possibly again at 6 months.
You might be able to access testing and healthcare via your computer or phone.
Take An Active Approach To Testing
Testing for HCV: the diagnosis of HCV infection requires 2 tests.
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The Sh: 24 Sti Test Kit
The test for hepatitis C is a blood sample.
You canwatch the blood test instruction videoand follow this link to see theinstruction leafletthat comes in the kit.Hepatitis C may take twelve weeks to show up in a test from the time of infection. Hepatitis C can sometimes take up to 6 months to show in a test, so if you are at risk of contracting the virus , then we suggest you test again 3 months later.
Specific Hcv Rna Assays And Range Of Detectable Virus
HCV RNA tests use target amplification techniques. Several assays exist for HCV RNA testing. Methods include polymerase chain reaction , transcription mediated amplification , and branched chain DNA tests. Results are expressed as international units/mL . The different methods and different commercial assays each have a lower limit of quantification and lower limit of detection , therefore a patient’s results could be reported differently depending on the assay used. HCV RNA tests must have an LLOQ of 25 IU/mL or lower when used to assess treatment response with DAAs.
LLOQ = the lowest HCV RNA level that is within the linear and analytically acceptable range of the assay.
LLOD = the lowest level of HCV RNA that is detected 95% of the time.
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Which Of The Following Foodborne Illness Has A Preventative Vaccine
In this article, we explore the development and distribution of vaccines. Learn more about how they work as well as safety precautions in WHOs Vaccines Explained series! Germs are all around us both inside our bodies or outside on other peoples surfaces so it is important that when someone gets susceptible to one type of harmful organism their body has many ways for defense against pathogens like bacteria which cause diseases such as smallpox before someone catches these nasty viruses from those sources alone but even if there was not an outbreak happening yet then at least.
Diagnosing Hepatitis A B & C
At NYU Langone, hepatologists, or liver specialists, and infectious disease specialists use blood tests to diagnose hepatitis A, B, and C. These viral infections cause inflammation of the liver.
If the results of a blood test confirm a diagnosis of viral hepatitis, your doctor may recommend imaging tests or a liver biopsy to determine the extent of liver disease.
Can Hepatitis C Be Treated
Yes, since 2010 enormous progress has been made in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C. New therapies called direct-acting antivirals are pills that act on the virus itself to eradicate it from the body, unlike older medicines like interferon injections which work by stimulating an immune response. These new treatments are very effective and can achieve cure rates of over 90%. In most situations now, there is no need for interferon, which was responsible for many of the side effects previously associated with HCV treatment. The new treatment combinations require shorter treatment durations , have reduced side effects and appear to be effective at all stages of the disease.
Because these new therapies are very new, they remain very expensive. As such, drug coverage from both government and private companies may require that your liver disease has progressed to a certain stage before they are willing to cover the cost of these drugs.
Your primary care physician may refer you to a specialist to determine whether you are eligible for treatment. A specialist will help you decide which drug therapy is best for you based on the severity of your liver disease, your virus genotype and whether or not you have been treated in the past.
Getting A Hepatitis C Test From Your Doctor
Ideally, you should talk with a doctor about hepatitis C screening. Theyll ask you about any potential exposures or risk factors and will probably order a blood test to check for HCV antibodies. You can get your blood tested anywhere that does routine blood work.
Its the same procedure as getting a routine blood test.
We reviewed each brands business and medical practices, checking:
- their BBB rating, if they have one
- whether theyve been involved in any lawsuits
- whether they provide help interpreting your results
- whether they make any unacceptable health claims
All companies on the list also state they use accredited labs to process their testing kits.
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Can I Take The Test At Home
At-home hepatitis C tests are available that allow patients to collect a blood sample at home and mail it to a laboratory for testing. Test samples are collected through pricking a finger with a sharp object, called a lancet, thats included in the test kit.
At-home HCV testing is a form of hepatitis C antibody testing and does not test for hepatitis C RNA or the strains genotype. Testing for hepatitis C at home is not a substitute for testing performed by a health care professional, and positive test results may need to be confirmed by laboratory-based testing.
Appropriate Uses Of The Hcv Rna Test
There are 4 major reasons that HCV RNA tests are used:
More rarely, HCV RNA is used when either very acute HCV infection is suspected or a false HCV Ab is suspected.
It would not be appropriate to repeatedly order HCV RNA viral load screening for a patient who is not on or was recently on HCV treatment, or to use the HCV viral load to determine the severity of the patient’s infection or the patient’s risk of developing significant liver disease.
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Who Is Most At Risk Of Contracting Hepatitis C
You have a high risk of contracting hepatitis C if you:
- use or have used injection drugs even if it was just once or many years ago
- have received blood or blood products or an organ transplant before July 1990 in Canada
- have been in jail or
- have been injected or scratched during vaccination, surgery, blood transfusion or a religious/ceremonial ritual in regions where hepatitis C is common.
You have a high moderate risk of contracting hepatitis C if you:
- have tattoos or body piercing
- have multiple sexual partners
- have a sexually transmitted infection , including HIV or lymphogranuloma venereum
- have experienced traumatic sex or rough sex or have used sex toys or fisting that can tear body tissue
- have vaginal sex during menstruation
- have received a kidney treatment
- have received an accidental injury from a needle or syringe
- have another infectious disease
- were born to a hepatitis C infected mother or
- have a sexual partner infected with hepatitis C.
Hepatitis C is NOT passed from person to person by:
- coughing, sneezing
- breastfeeding unless your nipples are cracked and bleeding or
- oral sex, unless blood is present.
Screening For Hcv Infection
HCV screening has several potential benefits. By detecting HCV infection early, antiviral treatment can be offered earlier in the course of the disease which is more effective than starting at a later stage. Further, early detection together with counseling and lifestyle modifications may reduce the risk of transmission of HCV infection to other people. The optimal approach to screen for HCV is to test the individuals having risk factors for exposure to the virus. The American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases recommends screening for HCV for the following individuals:
Recipient of blood or blood components .
Recipient of blood from a HCV-positive donor.
Injection drug user .
Persons with following associated conditions
persons with HIV infection,
persons who have ever been on hemodialysis, and
persons with unexplained abnormal aminotransferase levels.
Children born to HCV-infected mothers.
Healthcare workers after a needle stick injury or mucosal exposure to HCV-positive blood.
Current sexual partners of HCV-infected persons.
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How Hepatitis C Virus Is Diagnosed
Hepatitis C virus is usually diagnosed with blood tests. An antibody test can detect whether your body has had to fight off HCV infection. A blood test which measures the virus in your blood confirms the diagnosis, but results take longer. Sometimes, liver function tests, imaging studies, or a biopsy can support or confirm the diagnosis as well.
As of March 2020, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends HCV screening for all adults ages 18 to 79. The CDC also updated their guidelines in April 2020, recommending screening for all adults and pregnant women.
What Does A Negative Hcv Antibody Test Result Mean
A negative antibody test result usually means that the person has not been infected with hepatitis C .
The body needs at least two months to make antibodies. People with weakened immune systems are not always able to produce antibodies. This might happen in people with autoimmune disorders , HIV-positive people with a CD4 cell count below < 200 cells/mm3, and people taking immunosuppressants.
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Hepatitis C Screening: Questions For The Doctor
Hepatitis C is a serious liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus . The most common way to get hepatitis C is by coming into contact with the blood of someone who has it.
Everyone ages 18 to 79 needs to get tested for hepatitis C at least once.
Many people who have hepatitis C live for years without feeling sick. But the virus can still damage your liver even when there arent any symptoms. You could also spread the virus to others without knowing it.
The only way to know for sure if you have hepatitis C is to get a blood test. Medicine can cure most cases of hepatitis C.
Looking Further: Hcv Vaccines
Vaccine development for HCV is currently one of the most challenging fields in virology today. Various obstacles that hinder the development of an effective preventive or therapeutic vaccine for HCV include:
Considerable genetic heterogeneity of isolates within and between geographic locales .
Evolution and existence of quasispecies in an individual .
Poorly defined immunological correlates of protection.
Lack of efficient in vitro propagation to isolate the virus.
Despite these obstacles, both preventive as well as therapeutic vaccines for HCV are under development and also under various phases of vaccine trials, but a successful vaccine remains to be developed.
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How To Beat Hep C Naturally
Vlcers are a lifelong condition that can lead to serious problems. Treatments have come along way in recent years and theyre easier on your body than the old ones were, but side effects like depression sleep problems fatigue or nausea still cause issues for some people- which means you might start looking into more natural therapies instead of relying solely upon pharmaceutical drugs designed specifically with virus sufferers health needs at heart! Some complementary & alternative approaches may help ease those symptoms while others dont work properly so theres no guarantee about what will provide relief from this infection.
Questions For Your Doctor About Test Results
Patients receiving hepatitis C testing may find it helpful to ask questions about their test results. Questions to consider include:
- What type of hepatitis C test did I receive?
- What was my test result?
- How do you interpret the results of the hepatitis C tests that I had?
- Do I need any follow-up tests based on my test result?
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How Does Hepatitis C Spread
The most common way to contract Hepatitis C is through needles . Pregnant women infected with Hepatitis C can spread the virus to their children at the time of birth. Less common ways to spread Hepatitis C include sexual contact, sharing personal care items like razors, and getting body modification procedures, such as tattoos and piercings, in non-sterile environments.
What Are Antibodies
Antibodies are Y-shaped proteins made by a persons immune system. They are part of the immune systems response to viruses, bacteria, and other harmful substances .
Antibodies attach themselves to antigens or infected cells and tag them so that other immune cells can find and disable them. Antibodies stay in a persons body long after the antigen that triggered them disappears . If the same antigen enters a persons body again, even years later, the immune system will remember itand send antibodies to destroy it.
When HCV enters a persons bloodstream, it triggers an immune response. The immune system makes HCV-fighting antibodies. Sometimes, the immune system gets rid of hepatitis C virus by itself . About a quarter of people with hepatitis C will spontaneously clear the virus. This is more likely in young people , people who do not have HIV, and people with the IL28B CC genotype .
Even when a person has cleared HCV or been cured by treatment, HCV antibodies remain in a persons blood for years.
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What Is Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is a bloodborne virus that is spread when blood from an infected individual enters the body of someone who is not infected. The HCV infection can cause both chronic and acute hepatitis in an individual. Acute hepatitis describes individuals who have only had the hepatitis C virus infection for 6 months or less, which is considered an acute infection. In chronic hepatitis cases, the infection is long-term. A chronic infection is a significant risk factor for liver disease and liver cancer, and is potentially life-threatening if left untreated.
If you think you may be at risk, taking our hep C test kit can help you check if you have this infection. Our HCV test is quick and easy to take , and you can conveniently view your results on our secure, online platform.