Hepatitis C Home Test

Topic Overview

You may prefer to find out on your own whether you have been infected with the hepatitis C virus.

You can buy a home test called a Home Access Hepatitis C Check kit, which you can find in most drugstores. The kit contains a sharp instrument (lancet) that you use to draw a small amount of blood from your fingertip.

You place the sample on a piece of collection paper and mail it in a prepaid envelope to a lab for testing. After 10 days, you can call a toll-free number and receive your results using your confidential identification number.

If the test shows you have hepatitis C, it is important to make an appointment with your doctor to discuss the results. The home test only looks for hepatitis C antibodies, which indicate that you have been exposed to the virus in the past. The test does not tell you if you currently have an infection. Your doctor can order another test that looks for hepatitis C virus RNA. This test can tell if you have an active infection now. Additional testing can also determine how much liver damage you have and help you decide whether you want to try antiviral medicines.

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer W. Thomas London, MD - Hepatology
Current as of June 4, 2014

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