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Is this True?
Mar 17, 2008

Dear Doctor, You have often suggested to test out to 6 months at least from last exposure to confirm HIV and HCV status. I read that people usually test positive if indeed infected by 3 months. Is your recommendations purely to cover all other possibility of late detection? How about the possibility of detection after 6 months? Do they actually happen? And if they do, why?

Response from Dr. McGovern

I am just reiterating what multiple guidelines state.

You are absolutely correct to state that HCV (and HIV) are usually identified by 12 weeks after infection. However, just like with every bell-shaped curve, there are outliers that take longer. That is why there is a recommendation for testing further out.

I see a lot of patients with acute HCV. My experience is that the HCV antibody comes up quickly and is positive in the vast majority of patients by 12 weeks or sooner.



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