Hepatitis C virus under microscope
Hepatitis C virus (under microscope)

Types of Hepatitis C Tests Available Today

Hepatitis C is diagnosed by testing a blood sample for traces of the virus and viral antibodies.

Today, there are three types of tests available for Hepatitis that do not require a visit to a doctor’s office. Each carries its own set of pros, cons and cost. All are less expensive than tests prescribed during a doctor’s visit, however.

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HEPATITIS C TESTS COMPARED

The rest of this page explains the major differences, pros and cons of each method – and shows you where you can find them.

All the best on your test!


1. At-Home Hepatitis C Test

At Home Hepatitis C Test

An at-home STD test is an inexpensive way to test for Hepatitis C. Results often available in 15 minutes.

Unfortunately, at-home tests for Hepatitis B are often less accurate than a test performed by a local clinic or an online STD test service.

If you test positive using an at-home HBV test, you should purchase a secondary lab test to confirm the result.

The following online merchants sell at-home tests for Hepatitis C:

 

Learn more about At-Home STD Tests

2. Online STD Test

Want to maintain your privacy AND get super-accurate results? 

Then purchase an online STD test.

Online Hepatitis C STD test

Online Hepatitis C Tests typically cost between $50 and $300.

STDCheck leads the US market in online STD testing:

STDCheck logo 735px

STDCheck is the largest online test lab company in the US. They have a mobile friendly website & excellent customer reviews. Reasonable prices, too.

Save $10 NOW

Learn more about Online STD Tests

3. Free STD Test Clinic

waiting at the free std test clinic CA

Chances are, there’s a Free STD test clinic near you, and all will test you for Hepatitis C.

CDC Free STD Test Clinic finder


What Is Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by infection with the Hepatitis C virus (HCV).

Unlike Hepatitis B, there is no vaccine for Hepatitis C.

Symptoms can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious, lifelong illness.

Hepatitis C Disease Progression

Hepatitis C can be either acute or chronic.

  • Acute Hepatitis C is a short-term illness that occurs during the first 6 months after exposure to the HCV virus. For most people, acute infection leads to chronic infection.
  • Chronic Hepatitis C is a serious disease than can result in long-term health problems, or even death.

How Is Hepatitis C Transmitted?

Hepatitis C Transmission by Source
Hepatitis C Transmission by Source

HCV is usually spread when the blood of an infected person passes into the bloodstream of another. Most people become infected by sharing needles when using drugs. A smaller number are infected during sexual activity, especially rough vaginal or anal sex.

Hepatitis C is not spread by sharing forks and knives, breast feeding a child, hugging or kissing, coughing, holding hands or sneezing.

According to the CDC, about 20,000 new cases of HCV infection are reported in the United States each year. However, more than three million Americans are carriers of the virus.


Risk Factors

People who have any of the following risk factors or engage in these behaviors should be regularly tested for Hepatitis C:

  • intravenous drug users
  • multiple sex partners
  • already have a sexually transmitted disease
  • engage in rough sex
  • infected with HIV
  • unprotected sex with a person who may have had Hepatitis C

Symptoms of Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C can be difficult to diagnose without an STD test because an infected person may not develop noticeable symptoms during the acute stage.

Common Symptoms of a Hepatitis C Infection

  • darkened urine
  • abdominal pain
  • jaundice
  • light-colored feces
  • fever
  • fatigue that lasts for weeks or longer
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea and vomiting

Serious Health Risks

test for hepatitis c vs not tested

The following serious health issues can occur if Hepatitis C reaches the chronic stage:

  • scarring of the liver
  • liver cancer
  • liver failure
  • death.

Learn More