hi, I have another question. I was recently told I am positive for Hepatitis C and my "signal to cut-off" is 2.72. I have not had any other tests yet but does this mean I am contagious for hepatitis C and always will be? I read about people being cured, does that mean they are no longer contagious if someone touches their blood? This is so confusing to me.
Two different types of blood tests are needed to tell if a person
has Hepatitis C.
The antibody test.
A person first gets a blood test that looks for “antibodies” to the Hepatitis C virus. Antibodies are released into the bloodstream when a person becomes infected. The initial screening test is a Hepatitis C antibody test or the anti-HCV test. One of the most common names for this test is EIA (enzyme immunoassay). If the screening test is positive for Hepatitis C antibodies, it means the person is or has been infected with the Hepatitis C virus.
Some people who get infected are able to fight the virus and clear it from
their bodies. For most people, the virus remains and becomes a chronic infection. Once people become infected, they will always have antibodies in their blood, regardless of whether they have cleared the virus or become chronically infected.
The confirmatory test/viral load test.
If a person has a positive antibody test for Hepatitis C, he or she must also have a confirmatory test. This test looks for the presence of the Hepatitis C virus. Unlike the antibody test, when the confirmatory test is positive, this means a person currently has the virus in his or her blood.
The test detects the genetic material in the Hepatitis C virus, called
RNA. There are different ways of detecting viral RNA, but the test
most commonly used is called PCR (polymerase chain reaction).
After you have the PCR blood test you will find out if you are infected and have a viral load.
If you are infected than your blood would contain the virus. So if your blood was to get into another person's blood by IV drug use for example they could get infected.
Touching blood will NOT transfer the virus. It is a blood to blood virus so the infected persons blood must get into the blood of an infected person for there to be a danger of transmission.
thank you so much for this information. So if I do not have a positive pcr then I am not contagioius. Just to make sure I understand, If I have a negative pcr, I would have to be reinfected with the Hep c virus to become contagious again correct?
Correct, the pcr test determines whether there is any actual virus. so if you are negative on the pcr, then you are hepatitis c free. Get more than one of them. One now, one in a few months and one in say 6-9 months or so. If the pcr tests are negative then you DO NOT have Hep C. Talk to your Dr and see what they say. Me for example, I spontaneously cleared the virus after having it for a couple of years. My antibody tests are positive but it is undetectable in the pcr test. I do not have Hep C and I am NOT contagious.
Thanks to both of you for making this so clear. I now have hope that I do not even have it. I see the doctor on the 14th and he will probably order tests so it will be a while before I know for certain but I'm going to pray while I'm waiting. Thanks again.
I have been diagnosed for 15 years went through treatment and my wife never got it, we had unprotected sex for 13 years and she is not worried nor am I I did the interfuron and my results were and are no trace in my blood. It was a tough year of treatment but a lifetime of relief.
s/co ratios are not totally predictive, but very low ones(like yours) are more hopeful in terms of not actually having the virus. Get a pcr test as soon as you can. the results come back quick and you won't have to agonize over this for much longer. I know how it feels and it's an agonizing process.
here are a couple of links to medical articles that basically say the same thing. if your s/co is less than 3.8, follow-up PCR testing is recommended due to the possibility of a false positive.
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