Recommending a Hepatitis C test

As a professional, such as a GP, consultant, counsellor, nurse, addiction worker or clinician, your role in spotting Hepatitis C by identifying people who have been at risk and either offering, recommending or referring them for a test is vital. The SIGN Guideline: Management of Hepatitis C states that the following groups are required to be tested or offered a test.

Required testing

The following groups should be tested for Hepatitis C:

  • blood/tissue donors
  • patients on haemodialysis
  • healthcare workers who intend to pursue a career in a specialty that requires them to perform exposure prone procedures
  • healthcare workers at six, 12 and 24 weeks following an isolated acute percutaneous exposure to blood infected, or strongly suspected of being infected, with Hepatitis C, and anti-Hepatitis C testing at 12 and 24 weeks.

Recommended testing

Anyone with one of the following criteria should be offered a Hepatitis C test:

  • an otherwise unexplained persistently elevated alanine aminotransferase (a liver enzyme, the elevation of which indicates inflammation of the liver)
  • a history of injecting drug use
  • a child with a Hepatitis C antibody positive mother
  • HIV positive
  • recipient of blood clotting factor concentrates prior to 1987
  • recipient of blood and blood components before September 1991 and organ/tissue transplants in the UK before 1992
  • a healthcare worker following percutaneous or mucous membrane exposure to blood suspected to be/infected with Hepatitis C
  • received medical/dental treatment in a country where Hepatitis C is common and infection control may be poor
  • had a tattoo or body piercing in circumstances where infection control procedure is suboptimal
  • had a sexual partner/household contact who is Hepatitis C infected.

Identifying people at risk

It's not just injecting drug users at risk of being Hep C positive.

Read about the main risk groups

Hepatitis C Scotland


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