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:

We don't have paywalls — but your support helps us bridge crucial information gaps.

Readers tell us they can't find the information they get from our reporting anywhere else, and we're glad to provide this important service for our community. We work hard to produce accurate, timely, impactful journalism without paywalls that keeps our region informed and moving forward.

However, only .01% of the people who read our stories contribute to our work financially. Our newsroom depends on the generosity of readers like yourself to make our high-quality local journalism possible, and the costs of the resources it takes to produce it have been rising, so each member means a lot to us.

Your donation to our nonprofit newsroom helps ensure everyone in Allegheny County can stay up-to-date about decisions and events that affect them. Please make your gift of support now.

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