Hepatitis C tests are used to screen for and diagnose a hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, to guide therapy and/or to monitor the treatment of an HCV infection.
An HCV antibody test is used to screen for past exposure and current infection. It detects the presence of to the virus, indicating exposure to HCV. This test cannot distinguish whether someone has an active or a previous HCV infection. There is some evidence that if the test is "weakly positive," it may be a . The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all positive antibody tests be followed by an HCV RNA test that detects viral in the blood to determine whether or not the person has an active infection.
The HCV antibody test may be performed as part of an acute viral hepatitis panel to determine which of the most common hepatitis viruses is causing a person's symptoms.