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False +? Does HCV affect Orasure HIV (Blood) Test?
Feb 26, 2005

I've had HCV for 4 years now and occasionally drink alcohol, which I did the night (weekend) before getting the HIV test. On Tuesday, Feb 22nd (2005), I was given an Orasure blood test and in 20 minutes I tested positive. I was very distraught. The counselor sent me to get the Western Blot Test, which I did. I'll find out for sure if I am in fact HIV+. I did hear that hepatitis can sometimes cause a positive HIV result. Can HepC, genotype 1, cause an HIV+ (false positive) result in an Orasure blood test? Also, if I am positive, who shall I see first - my liver specialist or an HIV specialist?

Thank you Worried

Response from Dr. McGovern

If your western blot is positive, you should see an HIV specialist for further testing of HIV virus and T cells.

There are multiple new treatments for HIV and patients are doing extremely well. If it is positive, then you may find it helpful to talk to other people in HIV support groups. You will see that patients with HIV are leading very full lives.

While waiting for the results, have safe sex.

You will also need evaluation for your hepatitis C but I would first see an HIV specialist if your western blot is positive. Remember, their are many new therapies and much hope for this disease.

Dr. McGovern

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