Hepatitis C is an infectious liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Around 3.9 million individuals in the US have this disease, but since it causes very few symptoms, most people don’t know they actually have it. As the signs of hepatitis C are barely noticeable, diagnosing and treating the infection early on is the key to avoiding potential long-term consequences.
Our comprehensive guide on the best hepatitis C tests of 2018 can help you fully understand this dangerous disease, its consequences, and risk factors and learn all about the best companies that can help you determine your current status and monitor your sexual health on a regular basis.
- 10 panel STD test (including hep C) approved by the FDA
- Convenient and simple hep C testing without false results
- User-friendly work hours/CLIA-certified processing labs
- Direct access testing with accurate and confidential results
- Long company tradition with numerous respected partners
- Budget-friendly and fast procedures without any hidden costs
- Expert team made of highly trained physicians and advisors
- Budget-friendly pricing/CLIA-certified processing laboratory
- Accurate and reliable test results with fast turnaround times
- More than 2,300 testing centers available in the US
- Doctor directed testing available in case you need any help
- Treatment plans and consultations after getting positive results
- Budget-friendly prices/real at-home STD screening solutions
- The company ships its STD testing kits to all 50 US states
- Absolutely painless and user-friendly testing procedure
- Free consultations available at more than 4,000 locations
- CLIA-certified laboratories/FDA-approved testing solutions
- Skilled professional care team/numerous pharmacy partners
- BBB accreditation/long partnership with Quest Diagnostics
- Simple testing procedure performed at over 2,000 locations
- Testing partnerships with both Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp
- HIPAA-compliant servers with excellent security measures
- More than 3,700 testing centers with confidential procedures
- Test for hepatitis C reliably from the comfort of your home
- All tests are performed in a hi-tech, CLIA-certified lab
- Experienced physicians review the results of all tests
- Fully accredited laboratories/FDA-approved testing kits
- Discreet, nondescript packaging and confidential results
- Budget-friendly and convenient testing bundles available
Ranking Criteria Explained
We built our unique ranking system featuring a comprehensive set of rigorous and objective criteria that made it possible for us to successfully identify the best hepatitis C tests currently on the market. We’ll share some of these criteria with you in this quick overview to shine some light on our process and how certain factors affect the final positioning on our list.
As one might imagine, our key factors are the diversity, quality, and accuracy of the provided STD testing solutions. We are also interested in measuring the overall competency of the staff, including the physicians, care teams, and user support. The reputation of the company, lab certifications, and test approvals issued by the FDA are also of great significance. These factors are all used to identify the overall trustworthiness of any given provider and its tests.
Apart from these factors, we are also highly interested in the overall client experience. Therefore, we explore the number of physical testing centers for online providers and delivery options for at-home services, average turnaround times, the overall data security, and the professionalism of the staff. Lastly, we deal with the company’s pricing policy and determine whether it matches the value provided.
STDcheck is one of the best providers of online STD testing solutions featuring an A+ rating with the BBB and sporting more than 7 years in the business.
As far as hepatitis C is concerned, STDcheck offers its stand-alone test for only 24.00$. If your test results come back positive or you suspect recent exposure to other STDs, you can order its full 10 Test Panel for 198.00$. You can also add HIV RNA Early Detection, which ups the price of the panel to 349.00$.
Test results are usually ready within 1-2 business days and you can schedule a doctor consultation over the phone in case they come back positive.
Any Lab Test Now Review
Any Lab Test Now is a franchise with over 160 store locations all across the US. The franchising concept was approved back in 2007.
The company offers its hepatitis C antibody test for 49.00$. Test results are usually ready within 24-72 business hours after your specimen collection. You can also order its full hepatitis panel (A, B, and C) for 129.00$.
In case you suspect exposure to other STDs, the company offers its comprehensive STD panel (229.00$), which screens for HIV, hepatitis B and C, syphilis, gonorrhea, herpes type 1 and 2, and chlamydia.
STD Test Express Review
STD Test Express is a BBB-certified STD testing company that provides its users with fast, discreet, and affordable online testing solutions. The company features thousands of testing centers in 52 states and 96 cities.
You can opt for its stand-alone hepatitis C test for only 22.00$ or go for one of its comprehensive panels. The company offers general screening (141.10$), which is recommended for low-risk patients who want to keep their health in check; most common doctor-recommended panel (197.74$), which covers gonorrhea, chlamydia, herpes 1 and 2, syphilis, HIV, and hepatitis B and C; you can also add HIV Early Detection to the second panel, which brings the price up to 268.94$.
Test results are usually generated within 3-5 business days.
Personalabs is an online personal health hub with the most impressive testing portfolio on the market. The company offers more than 300 testing solutions with access to thousands more.
When it comes to hepatitis C, Personalabs offers Hepatitis C Antibody Blood Test (60.00$), Hepatitis C Viral RNA, Quantitative, Real-Time PCR with Reflex to Genotype LiPA Blood Test (220.00$), Comprehensive STD Blood Test (471.00$), Comprehensive Recent Exposure STD Test (618.00$), Prenatal Blood Panel Comprehensive Blood Test (361.00$), and more.
Test results are usually available within 2-3 business days (7-10 for more complex panels).
MyLAB Box Review
MyLAB Box is a traditional at-home provider of high-quality STD testing solutions, which means you won’t have to leave your home in order to collect your biological specimen.
The company offers its Hepatitis C Home Test for 79.00$. Once your biological sample reaches the lab, you can expect your results within 1-5 business days and even schedule a same-day phone consultation with a doctor completely free of charge.
MyLAB Box also offers a decent list of screening panels, including Safe Box (5 test panel – 189.00$), Uber Box (8 test panel – 269.00$), Total Box (14 test panel – 369.00$), and Love Box (panel for couples – 499.00$).
STD Testing 24/7 Review
STD Testing 24/7 is always available to put your sexual health to the test and complement its service with free doctor consultations and live chat support.
As far as hepatitis C testing goes, STD Testing 24/7 offers its stand-alone test for 69.95$, which yields results within 3 business days or less. If your test results come back positive, you can also order the 8 Test Panel (199.95$), which includes chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis B and C, herpes 1 and 2, HIV antibody, and syphilis. You can also add HIV Early Detection for 100$ extra.
PlushCare is an online clinic specializing in internal medicine and urgent care while incorporating the breakthroughs of modern telemedicine. The company features over 2,000 testing locations spread across 31 states.
PlushCare offers joint testing for hepatitis B and C for only 45.00$. Test results will usually be generated within 3 business days or less and sent to your email address. If you test positive, the company’s care team will connect you to one of its doctors for a free online consultation.
If you’re going for a complete health check, you can order its entire testing portfolio for just 199.00$. This includes chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV antibody, syphilis, herpes 1 and 2, and hepatitis B and C.
Walk-In Lab Review
Walk-In Lab is a unique company that provides its users with an interesting set of screening panels in an online setting. It operates more than 3,700 draw sites and is currently partnered with Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp.
When it comes to hepatitis C, Walk-in Lab offers Hepatitis Blood Test Panel, Acute (89.00$), Fighter or MMA Blood Test Panel (84.00$), and STD #2 Essential Blood & Urine Test Panel, 9 Tests (199.00$).
Depending on the panel in question, your results will be ready within 2-3 or 3-5 business days.
EverlyWell is a reputable provider of high-quality at-home testing solutions, ranging from general wellness to STDs. As far as STDs are concerned, EverlyWell offers two comprehensive panels, one for each gender. The panels cover chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, hepatitis C, herpes type 2, trichomoniasis, and HIV.
The only difference between the two panels lies in the samples required for testing. The male panel uses blood and urine while the female requires blood and a vaginal swab. You can expect your results 5 business days after the lab receives your biological specimens.
Private iDNA Review
Private iDNA is an at-home STD testing provider best known for its convenient, budget-friendly, and time-saving testing bundles.
Apart from opting for its dedicated hepatitis C test (69.00$), you can also test for this disease by ordering the so-called Premium screening panel (369.00$), which also covers chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV 1 and 2, trichomoniasis, herpes 2, syphilis, mycoplasma, and ureaplasma. You can upgrade the panel to Premium Plus and add HPV testing for an additional 30$.
The results are ready within 2-7 days after the lab receives your sample. You can inspect the report on your personal (HIPAA-compliant) portal.
Hepatitis C is a particularly tricky disease since it usually presents no symptoms in its early stages. This makes early diagnosis and treatment that much more important. The disease is diagnosed with a simple blood test that takes only half an hour to perform, so there are no excuses not to do it if you suspect recent exposure. This especially goes if you’re a pregnant woman since you can pass the disease on to your child while giving birth. There is currently no vaccine against hepatitis C, so prevention or treatment are the only options to combat this disease.
Hepatitis C is spread through blood and other bodily fluids. It can’t be transmitted through water and food or by casual contact. The CDC puts you in a higher risk group if you:
- Have ever injected drugs
- Received blood from a hep C positive donor
- Received a blood product to deal with clotting problems before 1987
- Had an organ transplant or blood transfusion before July 1992
- Were born between 1945-1965
- Have HIV
- Were born to a hepatitis C positive mother
- Have symptoms of liver disease
Hepatitis C is also very dangerous because it frequently causes long-term effects. 75-85% of individuals who get infected will most likely develop chronic hepatitis C (long-term infection), which can lead to a series of serious conditions such as liver disease, cirrhosis, dilated blood vessels in the esophagus and stomach, liver cancer, and liver failure.
Hepatitis C treatment has changed significantly in the past couple of years. The FDA approved a pill called Mavyret in August 2017, which shortened the treatment cycle to 8 weeks for individuals who haven’t been previously treated for the infection and don’t have cirrhosis. The treatment takes longer for individuals in the later stages of the disease. The old treatment for hepatitis C consisting of ribavirin and interferon can have numerous side effects like anemia, flu-like symptoms, fatigue, skin rash, depression, mild anxiety, diarrhea, and nausea.
Since no vaccine is available, you can increase your chances of preventing hepatitis C if you:
- Don’t share personal items (razors, for example)
- Always use a condom during sexual intercourse
- Avoid getting a manicure, body piercing or tattoo with equipment that might have someone else’s blood on it
- Don’t inject drugs or at least avoid sharing syringes, needles, and other equipment
Bottom line, prevention or early detection followed by treatment are the best (and only) courses of action if you want to handle hepatitis C without any long-term effects. You should be able to identify the situations that put you in jeopardy and test immediately after potential exposure. As we mentioned, waiting for hep C symptoms to present themselves is a recipe for disaster. We hope this guide helped you gain a better understanding of the most relevant points regarding hepatitis C and realize just how important it is to test regularly!