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Scared to death...need answers???
Dec 22, 2002

A post a while back stated this:

Dear Dr. Dieterich, Having adominal pain in the upper right quadrant of my body for two weeks and suspecting acute symptoms, I went to see a doctor. I just got back my HCV test and the test confirmed that I exposed to HCV 10 weeks ago.

Question: How do they determine that this individual contracted HCV 10 weeks ago? They can figure out exactly when a person was infected?

Another question: I have been with an HCV positive partner for 4 months now (from everyone I have spoken to my risk is extremely low - used condoms during intercourse, but did swallow semen once). I have just recently experienced abdominal pain on the right side below the rib. Needless to say, I am extremely anxious. I am going to get tested ...should i get HCV antibody test and also PCR test? Will they do that or do they start with the EIA antibody test first then move forward if necessary? Please advise on the best course of action to get the most timely response.

P.S. This is my 3rd email to you...would you please give it some consideration to be one that is responded to...Thanks, much.

Response from Dr. Dieterich

The fastest way to get an answer about HCV is to get both the antibody and the PCR. If the PCR is negative you don't have it! If the antibody is negative and PCR is positive then you have an acute infection and it should be treated! It sounds like all low risk behavior. If the pain is sharp in your right upper quadrant you should get an ultrasound for gallstones too! Good luck! DTD



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