Hepatitis C testing can lengthen lives

Back in 2013, I wrote a column recommending that many of us be tested for hepatitis C. At that time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force had recommended that all baby boomers (those born between 1945 and 1965) should be screened for the hepatitis C virus (HCV). I was tested at that time and was negative.

Unlike some things I have experienced in medical care, I was able to find out the price of the test right away. For me, it was $89. (Since I was having a test for something else, there were no other fees, like a phlebotomy charge for getting my blood drawn.) Then, I waited for more than a week to get the result.

If you test positive, the HCV evaluation and treatment is becoming simpler and may cure you. It should be started immediately. If the test is negative, you do not need to be tested again for a long time, if ever.


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