BA50 collaborated with Quest Diagnostics to create this post.
We watched this video about Hep C and decided it was important to share with all our BA50 readers.
If you’re a baby boomer, you’re at risk for Hepatitis C and you need to ask your doctor to be tested. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging all baby boomers to get tested for Hep C.
Although anyone can get Hep C, it’s far more common in baby boomers (people born between 1945 and 1965). In fact, more than 75% of adults infected with Hep C are baby boomers. Most infected boomers are believed to have become infected in the 1970s and 1980s when rates of Hep C transmission were high. Visit KnowAboutHepC.com for more detailed information.
- Hep C is a potentially life-threatening form of liver disease, but it can take decades to develop symptoms.
- 1 in 30 Baby Boomers has Hep C and most don’t know it.
- If you’re a baby boomer, you’re 5 timesmore likely to have Hep C, even if you think you haven’t engaged in any “risky” behaviors.
- Over 3 million people in the United States have a chronic (longtime) hepatitis C virus infection. Most people don’t know they’re infected because they don’t look or feel sick.
Why getting testing is a “must”
The good news about Hep C is that if it’s caught in time, it can be cured—and the treatment is simple. The problem is that many Hep C symptoms are common to other illnesses. That’s why Hep C testing is so critical—and why many health guidelines now recommend that more people get tested. Take a look at Understanding Hep C to learn more about who’s at risk.
Testing and diagnosis
A simple blood test will tell you if you have Hep C, and many private insurers cover this test for baby boomers. However, the test is not part of your routine physical exam, so you need to ask your doctor for it. Once you have the lab order from your doctor, schedule an appointment at a Quest Diagnostics Patient Service Center.
There are two types of Hep C tests:
The Antibody Test shows whether you have ever been exposed to the hepatitis C virus by detecting antibodies to the hepatitis C virus. Antibodies are proteins our bodies make that attack foreign germs if someone has been infected.
The Viral Load Test (also known as the HCV-RNA test) detects the actual hepatitis C virus in your blood, and also shows how much of it you have. This confirms diagnosis, and helps monitor your progress on treatment.
At Quest Diagnostics—only 1 blood draw is needed
If your Antibody Test is positive for Hep C, Quest Diagnostics automatically performs the Viral Load Test from the same blood sample.