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'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.

No comments have been made.

Add Your Comment:
(Please note: Your name and comment will be public, and may even show up in
Internet search results. Be careful when providing personal information! Before
adding your comment, please read's Comment Policy.)

Your Name:

Your Location:

(ex: San Francisco, CA)

Your Comment:

Characters remaining:


The content on this page is free of advertiser influence and was produced by our editorial team. See our content and advertising policies.