Hep C and HIV seroconversion
Sep 3, 2012
Does coinfection with Hep C delay the window period for seroconversion and if so, to what extent? I have the guidelines about testing until 3 months and then, if and only then, develop acute Hep C then further testing is warranted? is that correct? My 3 month mark of testing is coming up in 2 weeks and all tests since then (been doing weekly Home Access tests) have been negative and I just want this anxiety over this to end. I do not think I can handle another 3 months of this...So would be three month test be conclusive and definitve?
Response from Dr. McGovern
Good question. The vast majority of patients who get infected with HIV have a positive antibody test within about 8 to 12 weeks of infection. So a three month test after the exposure of concern is usually good enough. Rarely a person with convert later and repeat testing at 6 months can find the rest of these cases (about 3 percent of people).
In rare cases, getting acute HCV infection at the time of HIV infection can delay HIV seroconversion. However, if you don't have a diagnosis of acute HCV infection (usually with high liver tests and new HCV virus in your blood) there is no reason to worry about this possibility.
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