Hepatitis Testing Day: Testing Is the Only Way to Know for Sure
Hepatitis Testing Day is May 19th. More than four million Americans are living with chronic hepatitis, yet most don't know they're infected.1
Many people don't think they need to be tested for hepatitis C, but testing it the only way to know for sure! We're sharing data from our 2017 Hepatitis C In America survey that illustrates the testing and diagnosis experiences of our community and shows why testing is so important.
Hepatitis C: a surprising diagnosis for many
Only 39% of survey respondents had a blood test specifically for hepatitis C. The other 61% found out about their diagnosis in a more surprising way, such as through routine blood testing and medical exams or after a blood donation.
Left wondering how & when hepatitis C was contracted
45% of survey respondents did not know how they contracted hepatitis C. When we asked what people wished they had more information on at the time of their diagnosis, 39% said they wished they knew how and when they were infected with hepatitis C.
Signs and symptoms aren't always apparent
One reason many people don't know they're infected is because you can live with hepatitis C for years without symptoms. 31% of respondents were not experiencing any symptoms at their time of diagnosis. Fatigue was the leading symptom experienced at the time of diagnosis among those who were symptomatic. As fatigue may occur for a number of reasons, many may not attribute this symptom to hepatitis C.
Do you know anyone who might be at risk?
If you have a loved one who has any risk factors for hepatitis C, you can spread the word and let them know that testing is the only way they can know for sure!
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend hepatitis C testing for:
- Adults born from 1945 through 1965 (Baby boomers)
- Any people who currently inject drugs or who have ever injected drugs, including those who injected once or a few times many years ago
- Anyone who received clotting factor concentrates produced before 1987
- Anyone who has been on long-term hemodialysis
- Anyone with persistently abnormal alanine aminotransferase levels (ALT)
- Any people who have HIV infection
- Recipients of transfusions or organ transplants, including persons who were notified that they received blood from an HCV-positive donor, received a transfusion of blood, blood components, or an organ transplant before July 1992
- Healthcare, emergency medical, and public safety workers after needle sticks, sharps, or mucosal exposures to HCV-positive blood
- Children born to HCV-positive women2
Find answers to your questions
This Hepatitis World Testing day, let us know what questions you have about testing or anything else about hepatitis C. Ask away with our Q&A tool.
The Hepatitis C In America 2017 online survey gathered insights from 609 individuals who tested positive for hepatitis C infection and have been diagnosed with chronic hepatitis C infection. Of the 609 survey-takers, 49% were reported to be cured of hepatitis C and 51% were not yet cured at the time of the survey.
Have a question about hep C you have been trying to get answered?