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when do i get tested for acurate results?
Feb 22, 2014

I came into contact with a guy that has had hep c for 10 years. He lied about it and we have shared straws doing drugs. Also had unprotected sex. He uses needles I do NOT. I had a test done and the results came back unclear. When will I know for sure if I have it or not?

Response from Dr. Taylor

The fact that your results came back unclear means that it is important that you be tested again in 6-12 weeks.

Most people develop a reactive hepatitis C antibody by 12 weeks after exposure. However there are outliers meaning that some people can take longer to have the hepatitis C detected in their blood with an antibody test. For example in a study of HIV-infected men it took 14 months for one individual to develop the antibody against hepatitis C.

With a recent exposure and unclear result I would ask your doctor if you can get tested for the hepatitis C virus itself -- HCV RNA by PCR. This is an expensive test and is not available in all parts of the world but is helpful in identifying hepatitis C before the antibody result becomes reactive.

Talk with your doctor about getting tested for other infections that may be spread through unprotected sex including HIV and hepatitis B. Talk with your doctor about how to be sexual with others and safe, as we are at risk of catching and spreading infections with unprotected sex.



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