Positive for Hep C Antibodies 3 months pregnant
May 26, 2014
Hi, so long story short I am a recovering IV Heroin addict. I have been clean for 2 years and am currently 3 months pregnant. My doctor just called me and said that my hep c test came back positive for antibodies. What does that mean? Do I have hep c for sure and what does that mean for my baby?
Response from Dr. Taylor
Congratulations on not using heroin for 2 years, I hope you feel proud of yourself.
The positive hep C antibody test means that you have been exposed to hepatitis C. This is very common among people who injected drugs. This does not mean that you are infected with hep C. To find out if you are, the next blood test is for the virus itself, the hep C RNA. If you have virus in the blood, then you have the infection. If not, you don't, and there is no infection to pass to your baby.
If you do have the hep C infection, please know that this does not affect a woman's pregnancy. We can have a healthy pregnancy with hep C, this does not harm a pregnancy. The chance of passing the infection to your baby is very low. The chance is higher for women who also have HIV. Your baby can be tested for hep C after the birth. It will take a while to know for sure if the baby has hep C or not because the early blood tests may tell us about the mother's infection not the baby's. Your future health and your baby's is bright--- there will be safe medicines, pills, that cam safely cure the infection.
There are no medicines for hep C that are safe in pregnancy. The best treatment is to stay away for heroin and other drugs during and after pregnancy. Tobacco , smoking, is very dangerous in pregnancy and harms the health of the developing baby. Smoking around an infant is very bad for the child's health. Drinking alcohol is not only unhealthy with hep C but is very dangerous in pregnancy as alcohol is unsafe for a developing baby.
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