The HCV test price is quite reasonable in terms of normal blood tests. It involves blood sample analysis to identify the presence of the virus in the patient’s body. But before we jump to the cost of HCV test, let us look into more about the infection.
What is HCV Test?
Hepatitis C is an infectious viral disease that can spread from one person to another person.
It is caused by the hepatitis C virus that affects the liver cells causing inflammation and damage. This virus can cause both acute and chronic hepatitis infection.
Typically, hepatitis c is asymptomatic and does not show any symptoms till it becomes chronic. Usually, the infection lasts from a few weeks to a month. Hepatitis C is diagnosed early in many cases.
There are few HCV (Hepatitis C Virus) tests available that are used to diagnose the condition.
The HCV test price ranges from Rs. 200 to Rs. 1000 in India. The test is a must to identify the condition of a patient.
The HCV test is used to determine if the virus is present in a patient’s body or not. This test checks for antibodies that are generated when the white blood cells come in contact with the virus.
The presence of antibodies against HCV is an indication that the patient came in contact with the virus.
There are several other tests to diagnose hepatitis C, which will be discussed further.
Who Needs to Get Tested?
Anyone in the world can get infected by the hepatitis c virus. It is necessary to get the screening done to get early treatment. You should get an HCV test done if you:
Use or inject drugs of any kind
Went under hemodialysis
Had a blood transfusion or organ transplant
Born to a mother who has HCV
Involved in sexual activity with an HCV-positive person
Got exposed to needles accidentally or without your knowledge
Have abnormal liver function test result without any known cause or symptom
Hepatitis C is spread through coming in contact with the blood of an infected person as it’s a bloodborne disease.
It does not spread through food, water, direct physical contact, or sharing substances.
You may also like:
Why is the HCV Test Important?
HCV is a necessary test to identify the condition of the patient. It is an important test because
A person may have hepatitis c without any symptoms, which can damage the liver to an extent that it becomes fatal
The HCV test price is affordable
It will result in early detection and save the life of a patient
Early diagnosis will eventually lead to early treatment
It can help prevent life-threatening diseases such as cirrhosis and liver failure.
HCV Test Price in India
The hepatitis C virus test price may differ a little from one city to another depending on the development of the city or town.
Mostly the anti-HCV test price ranges from Rs. 200 to Rs. 1,000. Whereas the HCV RNA test price is much higher around Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 5,000 in India.
HCV test price is not a big issue as many government hospitals and communities offer the test at a lower cost.
The HCV test for antibodies and other additional confirmatory tests can be performed easily at a minimum test cost.
All these tests can be done in most of the labs. This test is as simple as any blood test as it only requires a blood sample to analyze.
The patient does not need to prepare before the test like fasting or special diet etc. It is not a painful process and can be done simply.
Types of Diagnosis of Hepatitis C and Result Interpretation
There are two ways to precisely diagnose the hepatitis c virus. The first is an anti-HCV test and the other is the NAT HCV test which is described below:
1. Anti-HCV test
It is an antibody test that looks for antibodies against the hepatitis C virus in the blood. It is also known as the ELISA test.
These antibodies are produced in the body when a person gets in contact with the hepatitis C virus, to eventually fight the virus and kill it.
It takes a few weeks for these antibodies to be produced in the body after the infection.
The test results may come after a week, but rapid testing is also available.
Result Interpretation –
- Non-reactive result – It means that the test is negative and the patient does not have antibodies against the virus. It usually means the person never came in contact with the virus, but there is a possibility of false negatives due to different factors.
- Reactive result – The test is positive, and the patient has antibodies against the hepatitis c virus. It is possible that the test is showing false positive results hence another test is prescribed.
2. NAT for Hepatitis C Virus
This test is used to check if the patient is currently suffering from the hepatitis C virus. Nucleic Acid Amplification Testing (NAT) is widely used to diagnose HCV.
It is a highly sensitive method of testing that looks for hepatitis C virus ribonucleic acid (RNA) in the blood of the patient.
RNA is an essential part of the virus which is used to produce proteins and perform other necessary activities to keep the virus alive.
Result Interpretation –
- Negative result – A negative result means that the hepatitis C virus is not present in the patient’s body. It is a highly accurate test hence; false negative results are very rare.
- Positive result – A positive result means that the patient is currently infected by the hepatitis C virus. The doctor will discuss the treatment plan with the patient.
After these tests, if the result comes positive, the doctor will conduct other tests as well to completely understand the condition of the liver of the patient.
Other Alternative Diagnosis Methods
Some of the other tests that are required to be conducted. These tests will help the doctor to entirely analyze the condition of the liver of the patient and plan a treatment accordingly. Other tests include
- Liver function test – The objective of this test is to check whether the liver is working in its best condition or not by measuring the quantity of protein and enzymes that may increase after a few weeks of infection. After the infection, these proteins and enzymes leak into the blood as an indication of liver damage.
- Liver damage test– Few different types of tests can come in handy to determine the damage to the liver. These tests include MRI, CT scan, liver biopsy, ultrasound, etc.
- Genotype testing – There are six genotypes available for hepatitis C virus in the world. Doctors prescribe genotype testing to identify which type of hepatitis a patient has.
All these tests help a doctor to precisely identify the severity of liver damage and therefore assist in planning a treatment for a specific individual.
Treatment for HCV
As the science of biology and medicine has evolved a lot in the past few decades, the treatment of many diseases has improved. Treatment for hepatitis c virus is available now.
If a person gets diagnosed with hepatitis C virus, they should get treatment to completely recover. The cost of the HCV test is quite affordable and even precise.
In today’s world, the treatment of hepatitis c virus may take around 8 to 12 weeks of the time.
The medications are taken through the oral route and involve directly acting antiviral tablets. These kinds of tables are efficient in treating HCV with minimal side effects.
The treatment has a 90% of success rate and is effective in curing many people across the world.