HEP Know the Facts

What is hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). It is usually a chronic (long-term) infection.

Hepatitis C is spread through direct blood-to-blood contact with someone who has hepatitis C. The most common way to get hepatitis C is through sharing injection drug use equipment, getting a blood transfusion prior to 1992, or having other exposure to blood.

Treatments are available to manage and even cure hepatitis C for some people. There is NO vaccine available to prevent infection.

It is important to know your hepatitis C status because there are many things you can do for yourself, your `ohana, and your liver if you have hepatitis C. To learn if you should be tested for hepatitis C, visit our testing page.

For more information on hepatitis C from the CDC, click here.

Testing & Vaccination

Get Tested

Most people with hepatitis B or C in Hawai`i don’t even know that they have it. Symptoms can take many years to show, so it is important to get tested — even if you feel fine.  Still unsure if you should get tested?  Take a short quiz to find out your risk for hepatitis.

The earlier hepatitis B or C is diagnosed, the more you can do to take care of yourself, your `ohana, and your liver. Do you know your hepatitis B and C status? Find out through one of our testing sites or by calling us at 808-246-9577.

Who should get tested for hepatitis C?

Viral HEp C

Definitely:

  • Ever injected drugs or other substances even once
  • Transfusions/organ transplants before 1992
  • Healthcare or public safety workers after exposure to blood with hepatitis C virus (HCV)
  • Children born to HCV-positive women

Possibly:

  • History of tattooing or body piercing
  • History of multiple sex partners or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
  • Long-term steady sex partners of HCV-positive persons
  • Users of intranasal cocaine or other non-injection drugs such as ice
  • Anyone born in the U.S. from 1945 to 1965, regardless of any known risks NEW

DID YOU KNOW? There is now a rapid hepatitis C antibody test available that only takes 20 minutes!  For more information on the test itself, go to www.testhepc.com.  You can also go to our list of free testing sites, most of which offer the rapid test!

Where can I get tested?

Now that you know if you should get tested, go to your doctor and request the simple and inexpensive blood tests for hepatitis B and/or C. Since many physicians may not be aware of the risks of viral hepatitis, print out these easy forms on hepatitis B and hepatitis C testing to take to your doctor.

If you don’t have insurance, you can still get tested!