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HCV

About the test
What is this test done for?
HCV is a blood test that looks for the genetic material (RNA) of the virus that causes hepatitis or for the proteins (antibodies) the body makes against HCV.
Why is it Done?
Hepatitis C infection can lead to liver damage. -The test is done
  • to diagnose Hepatitis C infection.
  • To screen people who are at high risk of catching the infection e.g. healthcare workers.
  • As a screening when a person goes for blood donation.
  • In the group of people born between 1945 to 1965 it is better to screen them as they are known to have this infection.
  • Before any surgery as part of routine screening
  • Part of pre-natal checkup
When should it be performed?

The test should be performed if:

  • A person is on long term dialysis treatment.
  • Received blood transfusion or organ transplant.
  • Children born to HCV positive women.
  • One is working in healthcare who handles needles maximum.
  • One has chronic liver disease.
  • Regardless of the risk factors, if one is born between 1945 and 1965.
  • Persons suffering from HIV.
  • Has symptoms like long standing fever, unexplained loss of appetite and weight loss.
How is it done
A blood sample will be collected from a vein in your arm. Fasting is not needed for sample collection.
Results
  • Positive which are indeterminate indicates almost negative results which could mean a past infection or no infection.
  • Positive or weak results could mean present or active HCV infection.
  • Negative results could mean— there is no infection or it is too early after exposure of the risk factors for the test to be accurate so if there is high suspicion retesting at a later time may be required.
Other Tests
Liver function tests should be done to assess the functioning of the liver. HIV- Elisa and viral load test should be performed to assess the immunity of the individual.
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