Test at Home
An estimated 4 million Americans carry the hepatitis C virus, though many are unaware of their infection.
Hepatitis C is the most common blood-borne infection in the U.S. While symptoms can take years to emerge, the disease can damage a person's liver and causes between 8,000 and 10,000 deaths a year in the U.S.
Home Access Health Corp., a closely held diagnostic test maker, won U.S. approval to sell the first over-the-counter test for hepatitis C. Customers send a blood sample to a laboratory. The results are available by phone in four to 10 days.
The test only allows people to know if they've ever been infected with the virus; it doesn't give readings on whether the blood-borne infection is active. Patients who test positive should seek medical care.
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This article was provided by Women Alive. It is a part of the publication Women Alive Newsletter.