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have hep c now maybe boyfriend exposed
Apr 6, 2006

Hi, I have not been able to find answer to this question. My boyfriend and I have been together for one year. When we first got together we went to the doctor and got a total blood work up and hiv test. My alt level was 42. She than tested me for hep c and I was positive. All his blood work was great. I than took the quantitive test and had a reading of about 1/2 million. We have not been using condoms. Now six months later his test is still negative but the scale that they have puts him at a (.8)His first test was (.2). This is the RIBA test and if you go over the .9 I assume you would be positive than. Also his alt which was 27 before is now in the 90s! He drinks moderatly (average of 3 beers a day)takes no drugs not even tylonal. The doctor said to come back in 3 months instead of the usual six and retest. In rearearching I have found the many medical experts now don't use the RIBA. Could you please tell me if if there is anything that could make this test become a higher negative (I mean leaning more toward positive) and also raise his alt. My interpedtation of all this so far is that he probably has been exposed from me and that his body is in the process of fighting the exposure.

Response from Dr. McGovern

There are a few issues to address:

1. RIBA is the best test to rule out a false positive antibody test. However, I do not use this test in any other circumstance.

2. If I understand you correctly, his RIBA is actually negative, but you are concerned because the negative number is rising. THat doesn't change the fact that the RIBA is negative.

3. His liver function tests could be mildly increased (90 is mild) due to alcohol ingestion.

4. However, if you are continuing to have unprotected intercourse, there is a small chance of sexual transmission. At this point, it is reasonable to obtain a HCV RNA to determine if there could have been transmission. I would also recommend only a HCV antibody (ELISA) for him, with follow-up of his ALT and AST. I would not get a RIBA again.

5. You should have further follow-up of your own hepatitis C infection.

6. Both of you should discuss the risk of sexual transmission. It is low but not zero. Condoms would make it zero.

Dr. M



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