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follow up q
Oct 16, 2006

Dear Bobby Bob,

You answered a q for me yesterday regarding hep c testing and were very kind and caring, as always. I had the two neg riba tests at 15 weeks and 35 weeks after reactive screening tests with a 1.0 score.

My final q is this : Do the neg riba tests mean I have never been exposed to Hep C or I was exposed and cleared the virus?

Bobby Bob, I will never bother you with any more qs. My only interest will be in reading this forum and contributing to your foundation.

Many thanks,

Ohio fan

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hepatitis C EIA (enzyme immunoassay) used for screening has a low positive predictive value and high false-positive rate in low-prevalence populations. Low-prevalence populations include blood donors, those without known risk factors for HCV and those with normal liver function tests. In these cases, a reactive (positive) EIA needs to be confirmed with a RIBA (reverse immunoblot assay, a "Western Blot" type test). Newer RIBAs detect antibodies to each of the HCV proteins (core, NS2, 3, 4 and 5) in a nitro-cellular strip format. A negative RIBA means you have never been exposed to the virus.

Hope that helps clarify things for you.

Dr. Bob



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