Sep 30, 2008
What is the Meaning of Positive or Negative HCV IGg antibody 3rd generation and when and who should be tested for these test.
| Response from Dr. McGovern
This is an antibody test that checks for exposure to hepatitis C virus. Persons who should be tested include anyone who received a blood transfusion before 1992 and anyone who has used injection drugs. Sexual transmission of HCV can occur but is much lower in risk than sharing needles. There are also other less common indications such as dialysis, needlestick exposures in healthcare workers, etc. Men who have unprotected anal sex with men should also have regular screening.
If a person is at risk and the HCV antibody test is positive, then another test should be performed to see if there is virus in the blood (eg, HCV RNA).
If the person is not at risk and a HCV antibody is done (for a health insurance form, etc) and the test is positive, then a confirmatory test such as a RIBA should be done to see if the test is a true positive.
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