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My wife tested reactive for HVC
May 30, 2002

My wife gave blood and received a letter that said she may have been exposed to Hepatitas C. The test showed her as being reactive to HVC. After she gave blood we did a blood test for life insurance and it came out perfect. Does this mean that she has Hepatitas C and if so can we still have a baby?

Response from Dr. Fried

Several tests are available to confirm the diagnosis of hepatitis C. Anti-HCV is the first test for screening, HCV RNA tests detect the virus itself in the blood. Without knowing all the details, it is possible to have a false positive anti-HCV test. Your healthcare professional can perform the appropriate tests- anti-HCV, RIBA, and possibly HCV RNA by PCR in order to adequately sort this out.

In any event, if she is truly positive for HCV a full evaluation of her liver disease is warranted. HCV infection poses no limitations on having a child. There is a very small risk of transmission to the baby. The risks are small enough so there is no need for changing normal birthing practices.



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