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.
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.
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