It is not easy to pinpoint whether or not an individual has Hepatitis C. Because of this, it’s important to be aware of potential risk factors. Here is a set of questions to double-check whether or not you or someone you know may be at risk:
1. Did you have a blood transfusion before 1992?
2. Did you receive blood products (immunoglobulin, Anti-Rh factor or platelets) before 1992?
3. Are you a Hemophiliac?
4. Have you ever shared personal hygiene items such as razors, toothbrushes, hair clippers, cuticle scissors or nail clippers?
5. Have you had kidney dialysis?
6. Did your mother have Hepatitis C?
7. Have you lived with someone who had Hepatitis C?
8. Have you ever used any intravenous or snorted drugs (even once)?
9. Have you served in the military?
10. Have you ever been a healthcare worker or been exposed to blood?
11. Have you ever been incarcerated (jail or prison)?
12. Have you ever played contact sports?
13. Do you have a tattoo that is over 5 years old or was done someplace other than a professional tattoo parlor?
14. Have you had any body piercing (including ears) that was not done by a professional?
15. Have you ever shared body piercing jewelry?
16. Have you had multiple sexual partners (20 or more in lifetime or more than 2 in past 6 months)?
17. Have you ever been exposed to blood during sexual activity?
18. Have you had any injection, surgery or dental work outside of the US?
19. Have you ever had abnormal liver enzymes?
Did you answer YES to any of these questions? It might be time for a Hepatitis C test. A correct diagnosis ensures both a prompt treatment and a better response to treatment.
Also, while chronic Hepatitis C may not show any symptoms, neither does chronic Hepatitis B. Both are equally damaging to the liver and can lead to cirrhosis or liver cancer if untreated. It is important to contact your healthcare provider to learn more about the testing and treatment options available.