NHS choices

Who to test 

Hepatitis C testing should be offered to anyone who:

  • has unexplained abnormal liver function tests (e.g. elevated ALT), or unexplained jaundice
  • has ever injected drugs, even if it was only once or twice, or many years ago
  • has had a blood transfusion (before September 1991) or blood products (before 1986 in the UK)
  • is the child of a mother with hepatitis C. (The test result may be difficult to interpret in children under 18 months, due to the presence of maternal antibodies and specialist virological advice will be needed.)
  • is a regular sexual partner of someone with hepatitis C
  • has had medical or dental procedures abroad, in countries where infection control may be poor
  • has been accidentally exposed to blood where there is a risk of hepatitis C infection
  • has had an ear piercing, a body piercing, tattoo, acupuncture or electrolysis with unsterile equipment
  • has previously been diagnosed with non-A, non-B hepatitis and not subsequently tested for hepatitis C

Current scientific evidence does not support the need for hepatitis C testing of those whose only risk factor is sharing banknotes or straws for intranasal cocaine use (INCU). However, hepatitis C testing should be considered on a case-by-case basis if INCU may be an indicator of injecting drug use.

Information and guidance on testing