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Red Cross Letter
Nov 25, 2001

gave blood, form letter came back saying positive test for hep c, then in same sentence letter said second test was negative. i am sure you have seen this form letter. do i have hep c. if not, why won't they use my blood. i called red cross, they said they can't tell me anything except sign a form and my doctor will be advised of their test results. no way, mib file will be coded. what do i do?

Response from Dr. Fried

Blood donors are screened with the anti-HCV antibody test. If positive, a supplemental assay, such as a RIBA, may be used to determine if the initial anti-HCV test was a true or a false positive test. Thus, a positive anti-HCV with a positive RIBA suggests that the person was truly exposed to hepatitis C. A positive anti-HCV with a negative RIBA, may indicate a false positive. I agree that in order to remove any doubt, your physician should help you interpret the exact test results and order additional blood tests, if needed to sort this out. You'll feel a lot better without the uncertainty.



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