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HCV False Positive
Jul 28, 2006

Hello Doctor,

I recently received an EIA anti-body result of weakly positive with a s/co ratio of 1.05 which is just over the cutoff. My doctor than gave me a HCV-RNA test which came back "not dedectable". I than asked for confirmation with a RIBA but he is reluctant to do so, stating "We are well past that". I am not a IV drug user and have had sex with 4 woman all using condoms (eventhough may have broke with a suspectable woman). Am I stretching it by asking for a confirmation RIBA?

Also, is there a smaller chance of contracting an STD (HCV amongst others) when a condom is used incorrectly, rather than nothing at all.

One more (sorry for the huge question), I believe I was tested for HCV 6 weeks after the initial encounter (it has been 3 years since the encounter) and the test came back negative. I know there is a window period, but also, the testing labs were different (LabCorp vs Quest). Do different labs have different standards when reporting results?

Thank you in advance for your time and effort.

Response from Dr. McGovern

I think that if your laboratory test is positive for hepatitis C, you should get a RIBA test to be certain it is a false positive.

HCV RNA is not detectable in some people who did get hepatitis C and cleared it on their own.

If you have no risk of hepatitis C, then I personally would want to know that the test if a false positive. It may also be important in the future when you want life insurance policy.

Labs vary and test results can vary.



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