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Spotlight Series on Hepatitis C

"Ask the Experts": My Blood Sample Was Reactive for Hepatitis C Antibodies; What Does This Mean?

The following is a physician-patient interaction that took place within TheBody.com's "Ask the Experts" forum on hepatitis.

hep c virus screenings
Jul 22, 2013

What does it mean when my blood sample was reactive for the Hepatitis C Virus antibody?

Response from Dr. Taylor

This means that you have been exposed to hepatitis C virus infection.

The next test to determine if you have hep C or not, is the test for the virus itself, hepatitis C RNA by PCR. If this is positive, you have chronic hepatitis C. If negative, you likely cleared away the infection on your own; this occurs in about 15% of people within the first 6 months of exposure. If the first HCV RNA test is negative, ideally it is helpful to get a second test for the virus 6-12 weeks after the first to confirm the result as with a new infection the viral level can bounce around from low to high.

Return to our full listing of answers to patients' frequently asked questions regarding hepatitis C transmission, testing, management and treatment.





This article was provided by TheBodyPRO.com.
 

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