Hepatitis C is a virus that is spread by sharing of blood. It infects the liver and can cause serious damage, including increased risk of cirrhosis and liver cancer.
You can have hepatitis C for many years and not even know it. Testing is the only way to tell whether you have it or not.
The first test is an "antibody" test, and then a second confirmatory test needs to be done called a "PCR" test.
The second test is needed because about 25% of people infected with hepatitis C will clear it without needing treatment. But the "antibody" test will always stay positive, even if the person was able to clear the virus with their own immune system.
For coverage with the newer medicines right now, you should have two PCR tests done at least six months apart.
The treatments now available in Ontario are very effective and have fewer side effects and take only 8-16 weeks of treatment.
Read more about hepatitis C here.
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