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False negative test likelihood?
Oct 13, 2008

Dear Mark,

I've been HepC positive for 15 years now, albeit with the unusual genotype 4. I also have HIV coinfection which dates back prior to my HepC infecction. In May of this year I had HepC viral load testing done which showed relatively low levels.

I was about to start treatment with Interferon last week and had some baseline blood tests done. On the day I was to pick up my meds I was told that there was no trace of the virus any more in my blood results and that it appears I have spontaneously cleared it in the last 5 months or so. They are still waiting on the results of the 'viral activity' test.

It just seems a little odd that after so many years of chronic infection, I seem to have spontaneously cleared the infection with no other changes to medication or any other relevant changes that I am aware of. I have to admit to being somewhat tentative about accepting these results.

I wonder how susceptible the HepC virus testing is to false negatives?

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Seems a bit odd to me as well. You don't indicate what your viral load was prior to going undetectable. If on repeat it is still undetectable, then I guess it is real.



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