Hepatitis C is the most common blood-borne infection in the United States, affecting an estimated 3.2 million people.

The virus mainly affects the liver and can lead to cirrhosis (liver scarring) and liver cancer.

Hepatitis C is the leading cause of liver transplants in the U.S.

It is transmitted when an infected person’s blood enters the bloodstream of another person.

You should be tested if:

  • you were born between 1945 and 1965, regardless of other risk factors

  • you’ve used intravenous or intranasal drugs even once

  • you’ve engaged in anal intercourse or vigorous, unprotected sex with multiple partners

  • you had a transfusion of blood or blood products, like plasma, before 1992

  • you are or have been on hemodialysis

  • you got a tattoo or piercing in a non-sterile environment

  • you have sex or share personal care items, like a razor or toothbrush, with someone who has hepatitis C

To get tested:

  • Ask your healthcare provider if you are eligible for the hepatitis C antibody test.

  • A few Southwest PA sites that screen for hepatitis C are:

    • Mercy Behavioral Health, 1200 Reedsdale St., Pittsburgh

    • Central Outreach, 1860 Centre Ave., Pittsburgh

    • Butler Community Health Clinic, 103 Bonnie Drive, Butler

To learn about prescription assistance programs, visit:

For more information on hepatitis C, visit:

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Alexandra Kanik

Alexandra Kanik was a web developer and designer for PublicSource between 2011 and 2015.