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Testing at 1 year - necessary?
Jan 3, 2002

Dr. Pavia,

I have read some experts believe in order to be 100 sure one is not infected they must test at 1 year post exposure. I tested negative at 6 months and my 12 month date is fast approaching. What is your recommendation? Test again for re-assurance or is it unnecessary?

Response from Dr. Pavia

Actually being infected after a negative test at 3 months and 6 months is vanishingly, vanishingly rare. It has been documented in the setting of a very high risk exposure to blood where the patient also contracted hepatis C. There may be a second similar case in a health care worker.

Bottom line, testing at 12 months is not necessary except in very unusual circumstances, like transfusion or injection with a significant amount of HIV and hep C positive blood. You could need the test for your psychological health, but it is not really necessary.

Good luck

ATP



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