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viral hepatitis

The initial test for hepatitis C is an inexpensive blood test to check for antibodies that indicate the person's been exposed to the virus. If that antibody test is positive, a second test is done to see if the virus is circulating in the bloodstream — a sign there's an infection that needs treatment. BSIP/UIG/Getty Images hide caption

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BSIP/UIG/Getty Images

Hepatitis C virus is typically transmitted through blood, but an infected person who spits at someone can run afoul of the law in some jurisdictions. James Cavallini/Science Source hide caption

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James Cavallini/Science Source

In two recent clinical trials of Harvoni and Sovaldi in the treatment of young people between the ages of 12 and 17, the drugs eliminated all traces of the hepatitis C virus in 97 to 100 percent of patients, generally in 12 weeks. Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun/TNS via Getty Images hide caption

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Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun/TNS via Getty Images