Now is the time to get tested for Hep C
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hepatitis C is a leading cause of liver cancer. Millions of Americans have hepatitis C and because they disease often has no symptoms; most people don’t know they have it. People can live with Hepatitis C for decades without having symptoms or feeling sick. Beckley ARH Hospital urges you to call your Primary Care Physician and request a hepatitis C test.
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Early detection can save lives.
The CDC recommends that everyone board from 1945 to 1965 get tested for hepatitis C. The only way to know if you have hepatitis C is to get tested. A blood test, called a Hepatitis C antibody test, can tell if a person has ever been infected with the hepatitis C virus. The test looks for antibodies to the hepatitis C virus. Antibodies are chemicals released into the bloodstream when someone gets infected.
When getting tested for hepatitis C, aske when and how test results will be shared. There are two possible antibody test results:
- Non-reactive, or a negative, means that a person does not have hepatitis C. However, if a person has been recently exposed to the hepatitis C virus, he or she will need to be tested again.
- Reactive, or a positive, means that hepatitis C antibodies were found in the blood and a person has been infected with the hepatitis C virus at some point in time. A reactive antibody test does not necessarily mean a person has hepatitis C. Once someone has been infected they will always have antibodies in their blood. This is true even if they have cleared the hepatitis C virus.
A reactive antibody test requires an additional follow-up test to determine if a person is currently infected with hepatitis C.