Beginning May 3, 2024, New York State will require that individuals 18 and older, as well as individuals under age 18 who are at risk, be offered a screening test for hepatitis C. The new requirements are consistent with those of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which state that new cases of hepatitis C are rising nationally, especially among adults of reproductive age.

Hepatitis C infections have doubled since 2014, primarily due to injection drug use. In 2022, most hepatitis C infections occurred among adults 20-39 years of age. Sadly, almost half of the 2.2 million people living with hepatitis C are unaware of their infection, and about 116,000 New Yorkers are living with hepatitis C.

The first step to receiving treatment involves testing, which is contributing to reduced mortality for those who have the disease. Without treatment, approximately 15-20% of adults with chronic hepatitis C infection will develop progressive liver fibrosis and cirrhosis. However, over 90% of people infected can be cured with just 8-12 weeks of oral therapy.

New York State hepatitis C screening requirements state that:

  • People 18 and older, or younger than 18 and at risk, must be offered a hepatitis C screening test.
  • If the screening test is reactive, a hepatitis C ribonucleic acid test (RNA) must be performed on the same or a second specimen collected at the same time as the initial hepatitis C screening to confirm a diagnosis of current infection.
  • Individuals with a detectable hepatitis C ribonucleic acid test must be offered follow-up care and treatment, or referred to a health care provider for follow-up treatment.
  • People who have hepatitis C should receive follow-up hepatitis C medical care and treatment, which is recommended for all individuals with the disease, including those living with HIV and with active substance use.
  • New York State also requires providers caring for pregnant people to order a hepatitis C screening test during their pregnancy.
  • Providers must report all new hepatitis C infections to the local health department in the county where the patient resides.

This new hepatitis C screening requirement will allow New York State to eliminate hepatitis C as a public health program by 2030. If you have questions about the new hepatitis C screening requirements, email