Chicago Hepatitis C Testing

Testing and treatment options can be found through STD Testing Chicago. When you get tested, our labs will use the Hepatitis C Surface Antibody test to inform with if you've been exposed to hepatitis C. If you test result is positive for hepatitis C, treatment options are available if appropriate to help manage your condition. If you live in the Chicago and Cook county areas, you deserve stress-free STD testing and treatment.

Hepatitis C facts and stats

3.2 Million

According to the CDC, an estimated 3.2 million people have chronic Hepatitis C in the United States.

75%-85%

Roughly 75% to 85% of people with acute Hepatitis C will develop chronic Hepatitis C.

4%

For every 100 infants born to a mother with Hepatitis C, four will be infected with the Hepatitis C Virus, or HCV. This risk is higher if the mother has both HIV and Hepatitis C.

3.2 Million

According to the CDC, an estimated 3.2 million people have chronic Hepatitis C in the United States.

75%-85%

Roughly 75% to 85% of people with acute Hepatitis C will develop chronic Hepatitis C.

4%

For every 100 infants born to a mother with Hepatitis C, four will be infected with the Hepatitis C Virus, or HCV. This risk is higher if the mother has both HIV and Hepatitis C.

Hepatitis C Frequently Asked Questions

Hepatitis C Basics

What is Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is a disease of the liver caused by the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV). There are two types of hepatitis C: acute and chronic. Acute hepatitis C is a less severe form of the disease that will affect the body within six months of exposure to the virus. Acute hepatitis C can sometimes clear up on its own, and it definitely will clear up with treatment. However, most of the time, acute hepatitis C develops into the more severe form, chronic hepatitis C. Chronic hepatitis C is much more severe than acute, and can result in serious complications like liver cancer, liver failure and even death. The CDC reports approximately 3.2 million people are living with chronic hepatitis C in the United States.

What are the symptoms of Hepatitis C?

Acute hepatitis C may not display any symptoms, but possible symptoms include: fatigue, loss of appetite, jaundice (a yellowish tinge to the skin and eyes), vomiting, or abdominal pain.

Chronic hepatitis C may also fail to show any symptoms until years later when the disease as progressed far enough to cause liver damage symptoms of chronic Hepatitis C are to occur, they would be severe: abdominal pain, excessive bleeding, weight gain, and bone pain.

How is Hepatitis C spread?

Hepatitis C is spread through contact with the blood of someone who is infected with the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV). This typically occurs through sharing needles or accidental needle sticks. Although the probability is low, it is still possible to get hepatitis C through sexual activities. Because this disease is spread by contacting infecting blood, many people ask if they can get it from a mosquito bite. While this is a good question, the answer is no. There have been no known cases of hepatitis C that have been spread by mosquito bites.

People who have an increased risk of getting hepatitis C are:

  1. Healthcare workers and others who work with blood
  2. Men who have sex with men
  3. People who already have an STD
  4. People who have sex with multiple partners
  5. IV drug users
  6. People who get tattoos or piercings with non-sterile techniques


It's recommended that you not share needles, razor blades, or toothbrushes with anyone that is infected with Hepatitis C. If you plan on engaging in sexual activities, wearing a condom is the best way to avoid spreading or catching Hepatitis C, just like all other STDs.

What is the test for Hepatitis C?

To test for Hepatitis C, we use the Hepatitis C Surface Antibody Test (Anti-HBs) to test your blood for antibodies to the Hepatitis C virus. If you have been exposed to Hepatitis, your body will produce antibodies to fight the infection By testing for those antibodies, we are able to tell if you've been exposed to the virus.

Hepatitis C Testing

How does the test for Hepatitis C work?

When you have been exposed to hepatitis C, your body will respond by creating antibodies that fight the virus. For this reason, we use the Hepatitis C Surface Antibody Test (Anti-HBs), which is a blood test that searches for these antibodies to detect the presence of the virus.

When your test results are ready, you will be put in contact with one of our physicians. Depending on your situation, he or she will talk to you about your next steps and, if necessary, talk to you about treatment.

What are the possible results from my Hepatitis C Test?

If your results show that you are positive for hepatitis C, there is a possibility that this result is a "false-positive" result. Your doctor may want to run another test to confirm these results. If your results end up being positive after the second test, your doctor will determine how to treat the virus. Acute hepatitis C can go away on its own. However, Chronic hepatitis C is a long-term disease that can be treated with antiviral medication to stop it from getting worse.

Hepatitis C Treatment

Are there treatment or care options for Hepatitis C?

Once you've been tested and diagnosed with hepatitis C, it can't be cured.

In some cases, it clears the body without treatment. For most people, however, treatment by a liver or infectious disease specialist is recommended to manage the virus and avoid developing complications. If you have hepatitis C, we further recommend you get vaccinated for hepatitis A and hepatitis B as precautionary measures (there is no vaccine for hepatitis C). Pneumonia, influenza, and other routine vaccines are also recommended (including diphtheria and tetanus).

What happens if I don't get treatment for Hepatitis C?

Sometimes mild liver issues are left alone without therapeutic treatment. Your doctor may do what's called "watchful waiting" before starting treatment for Hepatitis C. Before any serious treatment begins, there needs to be a confirmatory diagnosis of chronic Hepatitis C. Chronic Hepatitis C is diagnosed when antibodies are present for more than 6 months. It's important to note that there are other major health conditions that can be confused clinically with chronic Hepatitis C so RNA testing is typically ordered to confirm the diagnosis. Courses of antiviral medications like interferon, ribavirin, and combination therapies are used to manage the virus and liver function.

Concerned about Hepatitis C

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