Due to the fact that a lot of people don't manifest signs or symptoms, it's typical for anyone to have hepatitis C for ten years or more before it is clinically diagnosed. Plenty of people don't discover that they have the infection until they are tested for other sorts of reason, for instance when donating blood.

Hepatitis C tests are utilized to analyze the condition of someone who:

  • Are medical care personnel who may have been exposed to hepatitis C via a needle or some other contact with blood or bodily fluids
  • Has been subjected to a person with HCV
  • Was born between 1945 and 1965, since people born during this time period account for almost three-fourths of all HCV infections in the United States and almost three-quarters of deaths were related to HCV, according to the CDC
  • Participates in high-risk activities like injecting street recreational drugs 
  • Received blood from a donor who was identified to have hepatitis C
  • Has signs and symptoms connected with liver disease, including jaundice, or unusual weight gain or loss 
  • Have signs and symptoms of liver ailments
  • Have shared needles when using drugs
  • Have had your blood filtered by an equipment since your kidneys are not able to filter your own blood
  • Have several sex partners or have a sexual partner suffering from a chronic hepatitis C infection.

Testing for Hepatitis C

The following tests are used to screen for and/or detect HCV:

Anti-HCV test

It monitors the occurrence of antibodies to the virus, suggesting exposure to HCV. This test is unable to differentiate between a person with a current or a past HCV infection. Generally, the test is reported as "positive" or "negative." There is certain proof that in case the test is weakly positive, it could be a false positive. Weak positive tests should be verified with the HCV RIBA test before reporting final results. 

HCV recombinant immunoblot assay (RIBA) test

This is another test obtained to verify the presence of HCV antibodies. In many instances, it can show if the positive anti-HCV test was because of exposure to HCV (positive RIBA) or corresponds to a false signal (negative RIBA). In a handful of circumstances, the results are not able to respond to this question (indeterminate RIBA). Similar to the anti-HCV test, the RIBA test is unable to differentiate between an existing or past disease.

Home testing for hepatitis C

I know some people who would rather find out by themselves whether or not they have been exposed to hepatitis C. In some drugstores, you can purchase a home test known as the Home Access Hepatitis C Check kit. In the event that test results indicate that you have been exposed to the virus, you need to talk about these results with your personal doctor and to verify if you are afflicted with the infection right away.