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Hepatitis C Screening

KYW Medical Reports Sponsored By Independence Blue Cross

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It's never easy to learn you have a chronic condition, but it's important to know if there is potential to control that condition or even begin early treatment.

Such is the case if you have Hepatitis C. The reason why this is so important is because Hepatitis C can affect the liver. To find out if you have Hepatitis C, your doctor will do a blood test. It's called a Hepatitis C antibody test. This test can tell if you have ever been infected with Hepatitis C. It works by looking for antibodies to fight Hepatitis C in your blood. If your antibody test results come back as nonreactive or negative, it means you do not have Hepatitis C but if you think you were exposed to Hepatitis C in the last six months, you should have the test again. Most people with Hepatitis C have enough antibodies for the test to detect within one to three months of exposure.

The bottom line is that you need to be armed with the best information to protect yourself.

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