Veteran's Health Library Menu

Health Encyclopedia

Related Reading

Hepatitis C: Should You Get Tested?

Woman having blood drawn.

Hepatitis C is a disease that damages your liver. In some people, it can cause major health problems. You can even die from it. In other people, it may cause no problems at all and you might not even know you have it. Hepatitis C is caused by the Hepatitis C virus (HCV). This virus spreads from person to person through blood. You’re at risk for hepatitis C if infected blood enters your body. Are you at risk for hepatitis C? If so, get tested.

Get Tested If You:

  • Wish to be tested.

  • Used or are using intravenous drugs.

  • Had a blood transfusion or organ transplantation prior to 1992.

  • Receive hemodialysis.

  • Are a Vietnam-era Veteran (defined by dates of service from 1964 through 1975).

  • Are a healthcare, emergency medical care, emergency medical or public safety worker and had a needle-stick injury or mucosal exposure to HCV-positive blood.

  • Obtained a tattoo or body piercing in a non-regulated setting.

  • Used intranasal drugs with shared paraphernalia.

  • Had past sexual exposure to an HCV-infected partner or have had 10 or more sexual partners in your lifetime.

  • Are a current sexual partner of an HCV-infected person.

  • Have HIV infection.

  • Have a history of hemophilia and received clotting factor concentrates prior to 1987.

  • Have a history of unexplained liver disease or abnormal liver function test.

  • Have alcoholic hepatitis or a diagnosis of alcohol abuse or dependence.

  • Was born to a mother with HCV. 

Other Possible Risks

Ask about getting tested if:

  • You may have had contact with infected blood at your job.

  • You’ve had unprotected sex (sex without a condom) with someone who might be infected.

  • You’ve shared personal items, such as a toothbrush or a razor, with someone who might be infected.

  • You have any tattoos or body piercings.

Author: StayWell Custom Communications
Copyright © The StayWell Company, LLC. except where otherwise noted.
Disclaimer - Opens 'Disclaimer' in Dialog Window | Help | About Veterans Health Library