AIMS a public health strategy to promote early diagnosis of hemochromatosis gene (HFE)-related hemochromatosis (HFE-HH) largely depends on people's acceptance of available screening tests. The present study aimed at evaluating patient awareness of HFE-HH and their acceptance of DNA testing in western Romania. RESULTS a total of 221 participants were randomly recruited from the ambulatory unit of the Emergency County Hospital in Timisoara, Romania. They received brief information on HFE-HH and were assessed for the signs and symptoms of hemochromatosis. HFE genotyping was offered to all of them. Only two cases (0.9%) had previous knowledge of HFE-HH. Twenty-one cases (9.5%) underwent genetic testing. Characteristics associated with test acceptance were age <45 years, male gender, and educational attainment. Acceptance was associated with a desire to know if they had HFE-HH (85.7%). The most prevalent refusal reason was a desire for more information (41%). CONCLUSIONS larger educational programs are required to increase people's awareness about HFE-HH in western Romania. Nevertheless, within health care settings, the importance of disease detection and patient's educational background appear to be essential for achieving high rates of participation in the genetic test.