Since there is no vaccine that can protect someone from having Hepatitis C infection, the CDC or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention outlined a guideline for people who might need to undergo Hepatitis C Testing or HCV tests.
Hepatitis C Testing is recommended to:
- Those who were born between 1945 and 1965
- Those who are currently using injections for drug administration
- Those who are having hemodialysis, HIV infection and abnormal alanine aminotransferase levels (ALT)
- Those who received organ and blood transplant whose donors were later identified as Hepatitis C positive
- Those who receive blood transfusion and had organ transplant before 1992
- Those people who are working around needles and are having mucosal exposures such as health workers, doctors and nurses
- Those newborns with Hepatitis C positive mothers
Hepatitis C Routine Testing is recommended to:
- Those who received corneal, musculoskeletal, skin, ova, sperm transplant
- Drug users who take their drug through injection or intranasal
- Those who are known for their tattoos and body piercing history
- Those who have active sex life with multiple partners or partners with Sexually Transmitted Diseases
- Those who have sexual partner that is Hepatitis C positive
Hepatitis C Testing is not recommended at all to:
- Pregnant women
- Those who doesn’t have any risk of having Hepatitis C because they are not living with anyone or had no contacts with Hepatitis C positive patient
- The general public
Hepatitis C Screening
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force - Screening for Hepatitis C Virus Infection recommends Hepatitis C screening in prisons. The task force is also offering a one-time screening for people who were born between 1945 and 1965.
Is Hepatitis C really alarming?
Since there is no vaccine that can protect us from getting Hepatitis C virus, we are all at risk of getting infected with it. However, there are people who don’t need to go through HCV Testing because there are ways to prevent it from getting to us. Since Hepatitis C virus is blood borne and can only be transmitted by having sexual contact with someone who is infected, there are more ways to prevent it from happening than the chance of it getting into us.
What you can do to protect yourself from Hepatitis C?
- Practice safe sex and avoid having different partners especially unknown people
- Always practice proper hygiene such as washing hands
- Do not share your personal belongings like razor or needle if you are into medication like insulin
- If you have Sexually Transmitted Disease, seek treatment immediately
- If your partner is Hepatitis C positive, seek medical treatment immediately and practice precaution
- If there is a need for blood transfusion, get the blood from trusted blood banks
- If there is a need for organ transplant, make sure to test the donor for any medical conditions such as Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Hepatitis C infection