HCV rapid test
Feb 18, 2008
Dear doctor, Is the rapid test for HCV a reliable test? especially at 10 months post possible sexual exposure? I have read elsewhere that HCV and HIV coinfection causes late detection of HIV, so if I tested negative with this HCV rapid test, does it mean that my negative HIV test at 9 months is 100% reliable?
Response from Dr. McGovern
I am glad you asked this question.
There is a lot of confusion about this point. If you are negative for hepatitis C and HIV antibodies 10 months out, these results are reliable.
If a person (specifically a health care worker) gets infected with HCV from someone with known HIV/HCV coinfection, HIV testing should continue until 12 months out from exposure. This recommendation from the CDC concerns a few case reports of late seroconversion to HIV after acute HCV infection. This is an uncommon scenario.
If you did not get acute hepatitis C infection, I would not dwell on the accuracy of these tests any longer. They are certainly accurate.
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