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Confused with my Hep C results
Apr 23, 2011

Hello- I tested "reactive" for HCV antibodies, but negative (<43 IU/ML)for my HCV PCR. At the botton of the test results, it says, "A negative HCVPCR result (<43 IU/mL) does not exclude Hepatitis C Virus involvement in a disease process." What does this mean? I talked to someone at a Hep clinic, before I read this portion of the test, and she said that it seems as if my body has healed itself, and I CANNOT pass Hep C on to my boyfriend through sex or blood, is this still true? I saw on a qwest diagnostic website, that this HCV PCR test does not exclude me from being a carrier. I am confused! Thanks!

Response from Dr. McGovern

Yes, very confusing indeed....

First of all, is this a true positive test for HCV? Do you have risk factors for HCV? If not, you should request a RIBA test for HCV antibodies, which is more sensitive and specific.

If you think you are at risk, then you have probably cleared your infection and are not at risk of transmitting this infection to others. The laboratory always puts jargon at the end of these assays which can be quite confusing. This refers to the rare possibility that you have virus that just can't be detected by the current assay.

If you think you just got infected a few months ago, it would be prudent to check your HCV RNA again to make sure it continues to show resolution.

hepatitis A
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