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Hep C tests and treatment

Why testing is a “must”

The good news about Hep C is that if it’s caught in time, it can be cured—and the treatment is simple. The problem is that many Hep C symptoms are common to other illnesses. That’s why Hep C testing is so critical—and why many health guidelines now recommend that more people get tested. Take a look at Understanding Hep C to learn more about who’s at risk.

Should you get tested?

Take this simple quiz to find out if you’re at risk for Hep C.
 

Fast facts about Hep C testing

Testing involves a simple blood draw. Your blood sample will be sent to a laboratory to determine whether or not you have Hep C.

 

Health officials estimate that one-time testing of all baby boomers—an at-risk population—will prevent more than 120,000 hepatitis C virus–related deaths.

 

Hep C test results either come back “positive” (you have been infected with the hepatitis C virus) or “negative” (you do not have Hep C).

Tests for screening and diagnosis

A simple blood test will tell you whether or not you have Hep C, and many private insurers cover this test for baby boomers. However, the test is not part of your routine physical exam, so you need to ask your doctor for it. Once you have the lab order from your doctor, schedule an appointment at one of our more than 2,200 Patient Service Centers.

Request the test.

Remember to ask your doctor
about Hep C testing, sign up for the
Hep C test reminder
 

There are two types of Hep C tests:

The Antibody Test shows whether you have ever been exposed to the hepatitis C virus by detecting antibodies to the hepatitis C virus. Antibodies are proteins our bodies make that attack foreign germs if someone has been infected.

 

The Viral Load Test (also known as the HCV-RNA test) detects the actual hepatitis C virus in your blood, and also shows how much of it you have. This confirms diagnosis, and helps monitor your progress on treatment.

 

At Quest Diagnostics—only 1 blood draw is needed
If your Antibody Test is positive for Hep C, we automatically perform the Viral Load Test from the same blood sample.

What if you test positive for Hep C?

The good news about Hep C is that even if you are infected, treatments are available that may be able to slow or stop the damage to your liver, and even cure Hep C altogether. What’s even better is that treatment is simple. Several recent scientific advances have led to significant progress in treating Hep C, and in fact, many people go on to live full and healthy lives. Read on to learn more about Hep C treatment.

Treatment for Hep C

Hep C is treated with medications called “direct-acting antivirals (DAAs)” that help remove the virus from your body. There are many medications available to treat Hep C, including newer options that are more effective and have fewer side effects than older medications. In fact, it’s thought that in the past few years, more people have been cured of Hep C than in the previous decade.

Learn about Hep C treatments

Find information on all the approved treatments for Hep C
 

Fast facts about Hep C treatment

The goal of treatment is to clear the virus from your body. This happens when no hepatitis C virus is found in your blood 3 months after finishing treatment.

 

Decisions about treatment (what type, how long) are based on many factors, like the type of hepatitis C virus you have, the condition of your liver, and other health concerns.