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HEP C ANTIBODIES QUESTION
Feb 2, 2002

Hello, I have been diagnosed as having hep C antibodies. All other functions including liver have checked out fine. They detect no viral load. They believe I recieved hep c from a blood transfusion when I had open heart surgery as a child (22 years ago). My Dr. wanted to wait 6 months before I am tested again and has not refered me to a Dr. that specializes in the field. I am concerned because all of the sites I checked into recommend a gasterontolgist (sp?) what do I do, I'am afraid and I don't know what to do. I had another Dr. tell me it could be a sleeping giant and it hasn't awoke yet. I do not drink or take drugs. PLEASE help me understand what is going on.

Response from Dr. Fried

It sounds like your doctor is doing the right things. Some people who are exposed to HCV, particularly as children, have a high rate of spontaneous clearance of HCV. Make sure that a sensitive PCR test was used to check for the virus in your blood. If this was negative, repeating in 3-6 months on two more occasions is indicated. One other test your doctor can consider is a supplemenatry assay such as a RIBA. If this is negative then you were not exposed to HCV. If it is positive, then you were truly exposed and the repeated blood tests for the virus (HCV RNA)are definitely warranted.

If you are still uncomfortable, there is no harm in asking for a gastroenterologist/hepatologist to review all the completed tests and provide additional reassurance.



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