|Tests HEPATITIS C ANTI ,RNA QUANT PCR
Nov 4, 2012
My Hep c test was reactive after finding this out I proceeded to have a liver panel test and a liver ultra sound both tests were good plus my regular blood work and yearly checkups have been good in the past and present, I had another test done it was the RNA QUANT PCR results were Value <1.6 LOG QUANT and the HCV RNA QUANT said <43 Not detected I was told with my first test that I definitely have hep c antibodys or been exposed no need to confirm why were my results different on the second test both tests were done within a five week period. Also I read on the first report (hep c reactive) that the health dept will have this on their records do I need to tell them about the second test(RNA QUANT PCR)both test were done by two different labs thank you for your time.
| Response from Dr. Taylor
It sounds as though your hepatitis C antibody is present (reactive) but not the hepatitis C RNA, the virus itself. This usually means that you were exposed to hepatitis C at some point but that your body cleared the virus away within the first weeks of infection, on its own. Thus you do not have hepatitis C infection, just a marker in your blood of past exposure, which will exists for your lifetime. If the hepatitis C antibody is positive, the correct next step is to check for the virus itself with the HCV RNA by PCR, so I am glad you had this test.
If you could have been exposed to hepatitis C within the last months, then it is helpful to have the RNA repeated in a few weeks-month to confirm that you are truly virus-negative.
I am glad that your liver panel test and a liver ultrasound results, regular blood work and yearly checkups have been good in the past and present. However hepatitis C can be a sneaky, silent infection that may exist even though blood tests, belly ultrasound and checkup results are good. This is the reason for getting blood tests for hepatitis C specifically. The U.S. CDC now recommends that all 'baby boomers,' that is, people born between 1945 and 1965, get a screening blood test for hepatitis C, the hepatitis C antibody test. In addition people born any year who have a risk factor for exposure should be tested.
Some health departments require that all reactive antibody tests get reported to them. They do not often distinguish between exposure to hepatitis C (being RNA-negative) and having chronic hepatitis C (being RNA-positive). You can try telling them about the second test but they still may 'count' your antibody as they record infections, and a reactive antibody means that at one point there was a new hepatitis C infection.
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