What is Hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C is a viral infection which, if left untreated, can lead to long-term liver damage. It can be transmitted sexually or by blood-to-blood contact. Another common way of contracting Hepatitis C is through infected needles, often for recreational drug use. The virus can also be passed on through infected toothbrushes and razors, or from mother to baby during pregnancy – though these instances are rare. Quite often there are no early symptoms for Hepatitis C, with testing the only way to be sure of your Hepatitis C status.
What is the testing process?
Your Better2Know Instant Hepatitis C test is compltely confidential and anoymous. It requires a small blood sample generally taken from a finger prick. Your blood sample will be collected by your trained clinician at your appointment. Our Instant Hepatitis C test is available in our Dublin, Cork, Galway and other clinics. The test is suitable for both men and women, and is also appropriate for those who do not like needles. Hepatitis C has an incubation period of 10 days so you should wait this time from any concerning incident before taking the test.
Why should I get tested?
As it can take years for signs of infection to appear, many people with Hepatitis C remain unaware that they are infected, making testing all the more important. Symptoms, if present, can include tiredness, aching limbs, digestive problems and/or brain fog.
Whilst some people will naturally clear themselves of the disease, in around 75% of cases the infection will last for over six months. In these cases, the virus remains in the body over a prolonged period, unless treatment is given. Around 20% of people with chronic Hepatitis C develop cirrhosis of the liver within 20 years. You can get more information on this STI on our main Hepatitis C page.
When will I receive my results?
The test is run by adding your blood sample to a test cassette. Results are available around 15 minutes later. This means you will receive your test results whilst you wait in the clinic.
What if my test is positive?
Should your tests come back reactive, do not worry. Your experienced clinician will take a venous blood sample and send it off to our accredited laboratory for further analysis. We are here to help you and can also assist with referrals and a doctor consultation if necessary.
How can I make an appointment?
You can arrange your Instant Hepatitis C test in Ireland by contacting us today. Bookings can be made online, or by calling our knowledgeable team on the number at the top of the page.