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Partner HCV+ I am now pregnant w/HCV antibodies
Jan 12, 2003

My husband is Hep C positive and we have been together for 6 years. I have repetedly tested HCV neg and give blood 3 times a year due to my B- type. When we wanted to have a child our Dr.s said it was okay to go ahead due to low sexual transmission odds. I am now 4 months pregnant and my blood work has just come back with Hep C antibodies. I am now being told I am high risk pregnancy and my unborn child is in danger, I am very frightenend. My Dr. is now referring me to a Perinatal and has ordered a series of tests including a Virus load. Does this mean I am now Hep C positive and what is this going to do to my baby? I'm so upset, how this could have happened? All Dr.s told me Sexual Transmission was not a worry when monogomous. Now that I have tested for these antibodies, we are being told to use condoms and if we don't we are threatening the life of our unborn child. Have I selfishly infected our unborn child and put us both in danger by having unprotected sex with my own husband?

Response from Dr. Dieterich

It is very possible that pregnancy has caused you to have a false positive HCV antibody test. The viral load is the key to this. If you have virus then you do have HCV. The risk to the baby is about 5% for transmission only. That is very low and when babies do get it, it does not seem to be a severe illness. If the virus is negative then you have nothing to worry about. I do not see the need to use condoms now unless your husband has another sexually transmitted disease. Good luck! Either way it is not a tragedy, but I would guess that the virus will be negative. DTD

transmission of hepatitis
viral load

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