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false positive, blood donor, flu shot, low risk
Dec 22, 2002

I donate platelets regularly, including 4 times in Oct 2002. When I called to schedule my 2nd donation in Nov, they told me I was deferred. I called again 2 days ago & they told me my blood tested positive for HCV (presumeably antibody test), but were doing further testing. On the web I find sources saying 0.2 through 70 for false positives. I also found reference to one year when flu shots caused false positives (I had flu shot in week before last donation). I am low risk (no blood contact, no sex for 4 years), though some web sources said sharing nail clippers and other personal care devices can spread HCV, and I have done that with my 9 year old adopted daughter (have not tested her yet). Could I have been infected years ago and not show antibodies till now? I never did drugs or any blood contact other than bandaging kids scrapes.

Response from Dr. Dieterich

You should get a PCR for HCV, but the chances of it being positive are very low. The antibody test is most likely a false positive one. The other risks are very low. Good luck and don't worry. DTD

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