• HCV RNA tests:
    • HCV RNA test, Quantitative (HCV viral load) detects and measures the number of viral RNA particles in the blood. This test may be used to confirm the presence of the virus and diagnose an active infection. Viral load tests are also used before and during treatment to help determine response to therapy by comparing the amount of virus before and during treatment.
    • HCV RNA, Qualitative is used to distinguish between a current or past infection. It is reported as a "positive" or "detected" if any HCV viral RNA is found; otherwise, the report will be "negative" or "not detected." This test is not frequently used any more.
  • Viral genotyping is used to determine the kind, or genotype, of the HCV present to help guide treatment. There are 5 major types of HCV and more than 50 subtypes identified; the most common, genotype 1, accounts for about 75% of cases in the U.S. The drugs selected for treatment depend in part on the genotype of HCV infecting a person.