Hepatitis C infection is caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV) and is transmitted via contact with blood of an infected person. Risk factors include sharing needles or syringes with an infected person, sharing personal items such as razors, toothbrushes, etc. as well as by getting tattoos or piercings at an unlicensed facility. The virus is not spread casually (holding or shaking hands, hugging, sneezing, or talking to an infected individual). It is also recommended that anyone born between 1945 and 1965 be tested at least once for hepatitis C.
The CDC recommends HCV testing for:
- Anyone born between 1945 and 1965
- Current and former injection and non-injection drug users
- Individuals with HIV infection
- Children born to HCV-positive women
- Recipients of clotting factor concentrates prior to 1987
- Recipients of blood transfusions or solid organ transplants prior to July 1992
- Anyone with a known HCV exposure, such as healthcare workers after a needlestick
There is no vaccine to prevent hepatitis C.
Additional Testing Resources:
CDC Recommendations for Universal Hepatitis C Virus Screening Among Adults and Pregnant Women (April 2020)
This is a direct link to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) published April 10, 2020.
Order OraQuick Rapid Hepatitis C Test Kits
Complete the order form to request rapid HCV test kits from the Georgia Department of Public Health's Viral Hepatitis Program.
Contact the Georgia Viral Hepatitis Program:
Georgia Department of Public Health
Epidemiology Program - Viral Hepatitis
2 Peachtree Street NW, 14th Floor
Atlanta, GA 30303
Phone: (404) 657-2588
Fax: (404) 657-2608
Page last updated 3/1/2021