What does this mean? HCV testing
Nov 24, 2012
My guy friend had a Hepatitis C test and it came back as follows: Hepatitis C Antibody Reactive Hepatitis C RNA : NON DETECTABLE
Response from Dr. Taylor
The reactive hepatitis C antibody test signifies that your friend has been exposed to the hepatitis C virus. If the hepatitis C antibody is reactive, the correct next step is to check for the virus itself with the HCV RNA by PCR, so I am glad your friend had this test.
Your friend's result for the virus itself, HCV RNA, is negative. This usually means that a person was exposed to hepatitis C at some point but that the body cleared the virus away within the first weeks of infection, on its own. Thus there is no ongoing hepatitis C infection, just a marker in the blood of past exposure. The reactive antibody typically persists in the blood for a lifetime.
If someone is cured of hepatitis C with medications, the results will look the same -- a reactive antibody and non-detectable HCV RNA.
If your friend could have been exposed to hepatitis C within the last months, then it is important for him to have the hepatitis C RNA repeated in a few weeks-months to confirm that he is truly virus-negative. With a new hepatitis C infection, sometimes called an acute infection, the HCV RNA level can fluctuate, meaning rise to very high levels and fall and to non-detectable levels.
Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS
This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.
Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither TheBody.com nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.