This test is used to find out the Hepatitis C Virus in the blood.
Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver and can lead to scarring, cirrhosis or liver cancer. Hepatitis can be caused due to auto-immune diseases, alcohol or toxic substances. Hepatitis C is transmitted through blood to blood contact with someone infected with HCV. Usually, acute HCV infection is asymptomatic (does not show any symptoms). In individuals with chronic infection symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fatigue, fever, dark urine, decreased appetite, joint pain etc are seen.
Hepatitis C Virus HCV causes both acute and chronic infection. It is transmitted through the reuse of medical equipment, mainly syringes, needles and by transfusion of unscreened blood and blood products. It can also be transmitted sexually and can pass from an infected mother to baby. It cannot be spread through breast milk, water, food or by casual contact like hugging, sharing food or drinks and kissing with an infected person.
This test is performed to check the presence of Hepatitis C Virus in the blood. The doctor may ask you to undergo this test if you are suffering from symptoms such as abdominal pain, joint pains, muscle pains, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, yellow skin and eyes, itching, dark urine etc. This test helps for diagnosis the acute or chronic HCV infection.
If an individual is on the treatment for Hepatitis C virus HCV then the doctor may ask to perform this test to evaluate and to check the effectiveness of the treatment.
This test should be done after 15-45 days of infection. If you have been diagnosed with HCV, your doctor may advise you to get this test done once in a year based on your clinical condition. If you are a healthy individual above the age of 35, your doctor may advise you to undergo this test either on a yearly basis or every other year.
Some medications may change the test results and hence you are advised to inform all your current medications to the doctor prior to the test
Inform your doctor if you are on any medications, have any allergies or underlying medical conditions before your HCV Test. Your doctor will give specific instructions depending on your condition on how to prepare for HCV Test.
There are no specific preparations required for this test.
If the test results are negative it may indicate that the blood does not contain HCV virus and no infection of Hepatitis C Virus HCV.
In case the test results are positive it may indicate that the blood contains HCV virus and infection of Hepatitis C Virus HCV.
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