|Hep c pos but none in blood
Mar 29, 2009
Ok I am confused. I had a Hep c test done and it was pos. low range 1.4 Went specilist and he did the ALT & AST The HCV RNA by PCR QN < 43 Not detected. I asked if I was contagious he said no. He said I was exposed. I can not donate blood due to pos hep C but I am just trying to unterstand I thought if a person was exposed the are pos. I thought if they are pos they are considered contagious ,but if it is not in my blood then I am not contagious, HUH??? Can you explain. I do not get it. Family Dr. asked and I said I am fine so am I considered a person who just always test as false Pos.
| Response from Dr. McGovern
The only way to know if you were truly exposed in the past is to get a RIBA test. If this is positive then yes you were exposed and infected with HCV in the past. If negative, then your other ELISA test was a false positive.
If your RIBA is positive and your HCV RNA is negative, then you were infected in the past but cleared the virus with your immune system. Thus you no longer have virus itself in your bloodstream and therefore cannot be infectious to others. But you can still have antibody, which is the marker of prior infection.
If your RIBA test is negative, the first test was a false positive. RIBA is the most specific test for HCV but because of cost it is only done when needed.
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