Getting tested for hepatitis C. A blood test, called an HCV antibody test, is used to find out if someone has ever been infected with the hepatitis C virus. The HCV antibody test, sometimes called the anti-HCV test, looks for antibodies to the hepatitis C virus in blood. Antibodies are chemicals released into the bloodstream when someone gets infected. Aug 15, · A description of Hepatitis C antibody, a test of hepatitis C (part of the Just Diagnosed lesson for patients), from the VA National Viral Hepatitis and Liver Disease Program. Apply for and manage the VA benefits and services you’ve earned as a Veteran, Servicemember, or family member—like health care, disability, education, and more.
Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. The liver is a vital organ that processes nutrients, filters the blood, and fights infections. When the liver is inflamed or damaged, its function can be affected.
Heavy alcohol use, toxins, some medications, and certain medical conditions can cause hepatitis. Hepatitis is most often caused by a virus.
In the United States, the most common types of viral hepatitis are hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. Although all types of viral hepatitis can cause similar symptoms, they are spread in different ways, have different treatments, what is hepatitis c ab test some are more serious than others.
Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus. When someone is first infected with the hepatitis C virus, hepatihis can have a very mild illness with few or no symptoms or a serious condition requiring hospitalization.
For reasons that are not known, less than half of people who get hepatitis C are able to clear, or get rid of, the virus without treatment in the first 6 months after infection. Most people who get infected will develop a chronic, or lifelong, infection. Left untreated, chronic hepatitis C can cause serious health problems including liver disease, liver failure, liver cancer, and even death. The hepatitis C virus is usually spread when someone comes into contact with blood from an infected person.
This can happen through:. Many people with hepatitis C do not have symptoms and do not know they are infected. If symptoms occur, they can include: yellow skin or eyes, not wanting to what does carbon monoxide smell like, upset stomach, throwing up, stomach pain, fever, dark urine, light-colored stool, joint pain, and feeling tired.
If symptoms occur with a new infection, they usually appear within 2 to 12 weeks, but can take up to 6 months to develop. People with chronic hepatitis C can live for years without symptoms or feeling sick. When symptoms appear with chronic hepatitis C, they often are a sign of hepatifis liver disease. A blood test called a hepatitis C antibody test can tell if you have been infected with the hepatitis C virus—either recently or in the past. If you have a positive antibody test, another blood test is needed to tell if you are still infected or if you were infected in the past and cleared the virus on your own.
Getting tested for hepatitis C is important to find out if you are infected and get lifesaving treatment. Treatments are available hepatitie can cure most people with hepatitis C in 8 to 12 weeks.
Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options Skip directly to A-Z link. Viral Hepatitis. Section Navigation. Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Syndicate. Hepatitis C. Minus Related Pages. What is hepatitis? All adults, pregnant women, and people with risk factors should get tested for hepatitis C. How is hepatitis C spread? Today, most people become infected with hepatitis C by sharing needles, syringes, or any other equipment used how to become black spiderman in spiderman 3 prepare and inject drugs.
Although uncommon, people can become infected when health care professionals do not follow the proper steps needed to prevent the spread of bloodborne infections. While uncommon, hepatitis C can spread during sex, though it qb been reported more often among men who have sex with men. Hepatitis C can spread when getting tattoos or body piercings in unlicensed facilities, informal settings, or with non-sterile instruments.
People can get infected from sharing glucose monitors, razors, nail clippers, toothbrushes, and other items hepatjtis may have come into contact with infected blood, even in amounts too small to see. Before widespread screening of the blood supply inhepatitis C was also spread through blood transfusions and organ transplants. Symptoms Hepatitie people with hepatitis C do not have symptoms and do not know they are infected.
People can live with hepatitis C without symptoms or feeling sick. Getting tested is the only way to know if you have hepatitis C. What is the slope of a straight horizontal line recommends you get tested for hepatitis C if you:. Are 18 years of age and older Are pregnant get tested during each pregnancy Currently inject drugs get tested regularly Have ever injected drugs, even if it was just once or many years ago Have HIV Have abnormal liver tests or liver disease Are on hemodialysis Received donated blood or organs before July Received clotting factor concentrates before Have been exposed to blood from a person who has hepatitis C Were born to a mother with hepatitis C.
Hepatitis C can be prevented. Avoid sharing or reusing needles, syringes or any other equipment used to prepare and inject drugs, steroids, hormones, or other substances. Do not get tattoos or body piercings from an unlicensed facility or in an informal setting. Hepatitis A. Ehpatitis B. Hepatitis D. Hepatitis E. Viral Hepatitis Home. Links with this icon indicate that you are leaving the CDC website. Linking to a non-federal website does not constitute an endorsement by CDC or any of its tesy of the sponsors or the information and products presented on the website.
Explanation of test results:
Feb 07, · The antibody test is a blood test to check for infection with the hepatitis C virus. An antibody is a protein made by the body to protect against bacteria and disease. Antibodies can detect Author: Claire Sissons. Getting tested for hepatitis C A blood test, called an HCV antibody test, is used to find out if someone has ever been infected with the hepatitis C virus. The HCV antibody test, sometimes called the anti-HCV test, looks for antibodies to the hepatitis C virus in blood. Antibodies are chemicals released into the bloodstream when someone gets infected. This test determines whether you are infected with the hepatitis C virus, a virus that attacks the liver and can lead to liver disease. Hepatitis C Antibody Skip to topic navigation.
When your body is infected with a virus, it produces antibodies to fight the virus. The hepatitis C antibody test looks for antibodies that the body produces in response to the presence of HCV.
HCV infects the liver, often causing inflammation and damage. It can lead to cirrhosis, liver failure, and liver cancer. It's more common in developing nations. Every adult who is 18 years of age or older should have this test at least once to screen for HCV.
You may also need this test if your healthcare provider suspects that you have HCV. If you are infected with HCV, you probably won't have any symptoms at first. Consequently, the CDC recommends having the test if you:. Symptoms of severe liver disease include mental confusion and swelling of your feet, ankles, and belly. If your results on the hepatitis C antibody test are positive or you have symptoms that suggest HCV, your healthcare provider may order a hepatitis C RNA test.
This is a blood test that looks for genetic evidence of the virus itself. Another test, called "viral genotyping," helps find out what kind of HCV infection you have and what type of treatment may be needed. In some cases, you may need a liver biopsy to look for liver damage related to HCV. Other tests may be done to look for ballooning of the blood vessels in the esophagus varices or cancer in the liver hepatocellular carcinoma.
Chronic infection with HCV can cause inflammation and destruction to blood cells, blood vessels, and other tissues in the body. Your healthcare provider may test for these conditions, as well. Test results may vary depending on your age, gender, health history, the method used for the test, and other things.
Your test results may not mean you have a problem. Ask your healthcare provider what your test results mean for you. A test for hepatitis C antibodies is either positive or negative. If you test positive, you may have an HCV infection. But it could also mean that you had the infection in the past and are not currently infected.
If you test negative, it is likely that you don't have the infection. The test is done with a blood sample. A needle is used to draw blood from a vein in your arm or hand. Having a blood test with a needle carries some risks. These include bleeding, infection, bruising, and feeling lightheaded. When the needle pricks your arm or hand, you may feel a slight sting or pain.
Afterward, the site may be sore. Hepatitis C antibody is just one of many tests that healthcare professionals use to diagnose a HCV infection. It simply notes that you have been exposed to the virus. It can't tell a current infection from a past infection.
A weak positive test result could be a false-positive. You don't have to prepare for this test. Be sure your healthcare provider knows about all medicines, herbs, vitamins, and supplements you are taking. This includes medicines that don't need a prescription and any illegal drugs you may use. All rights reserved. Skip to topic navigation. Skip to main content. Search Our Health Library. Back to Intro. Click 'Back to Intro' to return to the beginning of this section.
Hepatitis C Antibody Does this test have other names? What is this test? Why do I need this test? Consequently, the CDC recommends having the test if you: Ever injected illegal drugs Had a blood transfusion or organ transplant before Received clotting factor concentrates for hemophilia before Are the child of a mother with HCV Have been a sexual partner of someone with HCV Have HIV Are a healthcare worker who may have been exposed to HCV HCV can lead to liver disease, which has these symptoms: Nausea Dark urine Gray- or clay-colored stool Fever Yellow skin jaundice Fatigue Diarrhea Decreased appetite Frequent bruising Belly pain Symptoms of severe liver disease include mental confusion and swelling of your feet, ankles, and belly.
What other tests might I have along with this test? What do my test results mean? How is this test done? Does this test pose any risks? What might affect my test results?
How do I get ready for this test? This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care.
Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions. Request an Appointment. Find a Provider. Contact Us. Interactive Tools Hepatitis Quiz.