The California Hepatitis C Task Force

Frequently Asked Questions
I have not taken IV drugs nor am I a baby boomer (born 1945 to 1965) but there is a family member in our household who was diagnosed with hepatitis C and I got a small tattoo when I was 15 at my friends house when we were fooling around, would it be a good idea for me to get tested?
I have Medi-Cal (California Medicaid) and have been recently diagnosed with hepatitis, how can I find out when I can start treatment?

Speak with your doctor and also call the client services representative of your managed care health plan and tell them you want to begin treatment as soon as you can. Their number will be clearly visible on their website. If you run into obstacles, go to My Patient Rights' website to learn more.

I am feeling some pain in the right side of my stomach, am tired much of the time and do not have a doctor or medical insurance and have some risk factors in my past, how can I get tested for viral hepatitis?

Contact your local county Public Health Department, Infectious Disease Department and ask them where and when you can get tests done, if there is a cost and explain if you have economic barriers affording them. They will refer you to a program or public health laboratory that will accommodate you. If you run into any difficulty, call the county public health medical officer.

I have a friend that said they have hepatitis C and they are in recovery and they don't seem to be getting medical care and appear to be getting worse, how can I help them?

Contact the program director of the recovery center that is providing service to your friend and ask them what activity they have that provides a linkage to care and then encourage your friend to follow that process. If there are barriers that seem to be too great to navigate, call the County Social Services Department or the California Hepatitis C Task Force.

My wife just found out she is pregnant, she moved here with her family twenty years ago from Asia, her parents are now deceased and she does not remember if she has ever been vaccinated for hepatitis B or even tested, what should we do?

Tell her doctor, have her get tested and follow the instructions that she is given once the results of the test are given.

I was born and lived my whole life here in the United States, I had a blood transfusion after a terrible injury in 1972, I have an otherwise healthy life, immunizations are up to date, rarely get sick and have dated on and off since college but am ready to settle down, should I get tested for hepatitis C?

Yes, because before 1992 the nations blood supply was not safe because we didn't have a screening process for whole blood in place to detect the virus.

If I want to learn more about viral hepatitis, where is the best place to access information that is easy to understand?

There are links on this website and resources from many organizations that encompass academia, industry, medical journals, government health agencies, community associations and professional scientific associations. There are online support groups through social media. There are also phone hot lines that will give you someone to talk to that can be very helpful. Your pursuit for information shouldn't be very difficult whether you go to your public library or surf the internet but let me remind you that if the information you are seeking is about your own medical condition, please discuss this with your doctor directly and work together proactively. You also have a right to your privacy on medical matters when it comes to your workplace. You will learn a great deal from others that are getting care or are now cured of viral hepatitis. You are not alone.


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