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Anyone who can help hepititis(hepatitis) C

I regret to say I realized I was hepititis (hepatitis) c positive when I was pregnant I was worried sick and still am he is now 21 months and I know as embarrassing as it was all my doctors were aware and notified about the issue and my concerns with giving birth they made me believe he would be fine and natural birth was the way to go I wish I had more information then but anyway my sons test results say antibodies positive for hepititis (hepatitis) I realize this can be present from the mother until 18 months he is 21 months and further testing indicated hepititis (hepatitis) c RNA detector qual. His results were detected (not detected) A . I just would love any information it makes me sick to think he could be sick because of me and I am praying it just isn't but his atl and ast are elevated his AST is 52 in a range of (<40) and his ALT is 53 in a range of (<41) I am having a hard time sleeping eating I would just die to think my little baby with his little body has to start off life in a fight with medications and the possibility of cancer and 20 year prognosis of life or the fact that my little handsome boy has to tell every girl he's with I am infected it just ***** I can deal with myself but not him he's too young it kills me and any information any one can give me I would so appreciate his platelet count and white blood cells were high and his co2 was low and so was his creatinine I just don't know what this all means thank you
19 Comments Post a Comment
It is rarely passed from Mother to child. I had 4 children while I was infected and they all remained Hepatitis free and healthy into their adulthood.
That is generally the case, so please don't worry unnecessarily.
The only danger to him is if you share blood with him. For exp. when he is old enough for whiskers if he uses a razor you used and cut yourself with and then nicks himself, he *might* get it. Same with a toothbrush...sharing blood.
I really don't know why babies in utero mostly do *not* get the virus from their moms but it is true.
If you want to be sure ask your doc for a pcr...but don't worry, he is likely fine. His labs do not seem extreme but I am no expert and you really need to discuss this with his Dr. because it could be any number of things that cause the fluctuations. If he does have it he will be able to treat painlessly in a few years. Tx options are changing fast.
And please stop with the guilt and shame. It does not matter how you got HCV, you do not deserve it, you are not a bad person.
Things happen, we deal with it (Get treated), protect our kids and move on.
You have a good life ahead of you, just focus on the good and getting virus free.
All the best to you.
Welcome Melame,

I am so sorry for your Baby's diagnosis of testing positive for antibodies, I am unsure if you say he is RNA detected of not detected.  But if you would like some information on children with Hep C I have copied a link for you, below.  Also there is treatment for children infected with Hepatitis C, however current treatment is hard on the children.  But no fear new treatments are on the horizon, very soon to be approved by US Gov for use, maybe soon as well for children.

I can only imagine how you feel, but please try not to focus on blaming yourself - We all know that it was not your intention to pass this on, if he does test positive for RNA.

What about you?  Have you or are you concidering treating your Hep C?  

There is more experience on this forum and I'm sure some mother's of children that will chime in for you with personal experience.
Best to you I hope this information helps:


Hepatitis C affects 4–10% of children born to infected mothers, and 80% of them develop chronic infection. Most patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection are asymptomatic, with persistent or intermittent biochemical abnormalities. Severe liver disease may develop 10 years after onset of infection, with a less than 2% overall risk during the pediatric age. Available therapies have no contraindication in children if otherwise healthy. The US FDA and EMEA have recently approved combined pegylated-IFN-α2b plus ribavirin treatment for children, who should be over 3 years of age in order to avoid severe side effects. Experiences in pilot trials and international studies indicate a response rate of 50% in genotype 1 patients, and more than 90% in genotype 2 or 3 patients, indicating resolution of chronic disease.


The possibility of curing chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection by means of PEG-IFN plus ribavirin – the currently recommended treatment – has raised controversy about the convenience of treating pediatric patients. As children with chronic HCV infection are usually asymptomatic and rarely develop severe liver damage, the possibility of eliciting adverse effects from current therapies must be appropriately balanced against the benefits. Characteristics of HCV infection in children and the results of treatment are reviewed here in order to substantiate decisions.

The discovery of HCV and the use of anti-HCV levels as a marker of exposure was available in the early 1990s to exclude infected blood and organ donors. Before this, most HCV infections were acquired by transfusions or inadequately sterilized needles or instruments. Pediatric populations heavily affected in the past due to repeated administration of blood derivatives for hemoglobinopathies, hemophilia or cancer treatment are now young adults, and therefore beyond the scope of this revision. In certain areas of the world, post-transfusional hepatitis C remains a hazard. Cumulative information on superimposed HCV infection to some underlying diseases of children indicates similar chronicization rates, deleterious effects of iron overload added to viral-induced liver damage and evidence of difficult-to-treat patients because of conditions that affect the tolerability of drugs, such as anemia or renal insufficiency.

The effectiveness of excluding parenteral routes of HCV is demonstrated in young populations of industrialized countries.[1] Perinatal mother-to-child transmission accounts for 95% of all cases of hepatitis C in children born after 1990. In addition, over the years there has been a reduction in the number of pediatric cases of vertical transmission because the anti-HCV-positive rate has decreased in younger women as a result of lesser transfusional transmission of the disease, and due to changes in illicit drug abuse with a shift towards nonintravenous forms of administration.[2]

In the current setting, most affected children are otherwise healthy. The applicability of treatment is the rule. Combined treatment offers a 50–90% chance (according to HCV genotype) of clearing HCV infection, thus avoiding the progression of liver disease. This review will focus on the benefits of current therapy, mostly evident in the long term, and also on drug toxicity.
Sorry here's some more:


Origin of HCV Infection in Children: Mother-to-child Transmission

Hepatitis C is an asymptomatic disease in infants. The only efficient method for its detection is the investigation of children at risk. Infants of women with hepatitis C should be tested for HCV RNA on two occasions, between the ages of 2 and 6 months, and again at 18 to 24 months, along with serum anti-HCV.[3–5] Variants to this schedule are also employed. Tests performed in umbilical cord or before 1 month of age give a high rate of false-negative and false-positive results and are not recommended.

The offspring of anti-HCV-positive mothers have anti-HCV antibodies in their blood as a result of passive transplacental transfer. These antibodies remain detectable in the infant for the first 12–15 months of life. The definition of mother-to-child transmission of HCV includes: the detection of anti-HCV antibodies in a child over 18 months of age, or the detection of HCV RNA in a child over 2 months of age, preferably confirmed in two different samples.[3]

Children born to anti-HCV-positive and HCV RNA-positive mothers have an infection risk of 4–10%, with no differences between caesarean or vaginal delivery, or between children who are breastfed or receive infant formulas.[3,6] Once pre- or peri-natal transmission has been discarded, cohabitation of the child with the mother entails no appreciable risk.

Excellent reviews on HCV vertical transmission are available.[3,6,7] Some risk factors have been clearly identified, such as maternal viremia[4,8] or maternal co-infection with HIV-1.[3] Maternal intravenous drug use, the presence of HCV RNA in maternal peripheral blood mononuclear cells and genetic factors (HLA-DRB1*10 in children) could also facilitate transmission.[9–11]

However, discordance exists between studies. Viral load in the mother is a rational risk factor involved in transmission to the child, but was found to be either high or not significantly different between transmitting and nontransmitting mothers.[8,12] Other risk factors are linked to abnormal labor, as published data support facilitated transmission by a prolonged time from rupture of membranes to birth.[6,13,14] Antiretroviral treatment of HIV-infected mothers decreases the risk of HCV transmission to levels similar to HIV-negative mothers.[6]

Mother-to-child transmission theoretically can occur in utero, at the end of pregnancy or at delivery. Among 54 infected infants tested within 3 days of birth, 31% displayed HCV viremia, suggesting that intrauterine infection could have occurred.[15]

There are currently no established interventions to prevent infection of the child born to an infected mother. In particular, there is no evidence to suggest that women should be offered an elective caesarean delivery or be advised to avoid breastfeeding.[4]


If your son has tested  HCV /RNA by PCR  (gual) positive ..then yes he has contracted HCV vertically from you at birth. however you saying :

"His results were detected (not detected)" is a bit confusing.and you would need to know the exact status and must  be clarified

If DET I am sorry to hear of this  ,however here is the good news.

For most if not all of us with HCV it has taken many years and most often decades for our HCV to have had any effect adversely on our health.

Most folks carry this  literally  for decades symptomless  before they are even diagnosed.

More good news.. The treatments for HCV are very effective today  and the drug companies are  working very hard currently to come up with even better drugs which should be avail in the very near future.

I would advise if not already your son be seen by a knowlegable Hepatologist  or gastroenterologist that is very familiar with HCV  as it pertains to children and treatment of such.

Best to you and welcome to the group and.please continue to ask questions as there is a wealth of knowledge here as well as support.

I have had this disease since birth I am 27 now and just recently found out. I have led a normal happy life and have 2 children of my own my husband doesn't have it and my oldest daughter doesnt either... Still waiting to test my youngest daughter. New Meds are on the horizon and I'm sure by the time u feel its time to treat your son he will have a better than ever chance of clearing this! It's a mothers worst nightmare I know but try not to stress too much and enjoy your son! The young stages go by so fast and being upsett and worrying yourself sick will do no good for yourself or him! Wishing you all the best to you and the family! Things will work out!
I appreciate all your input and support I was literally in tears reading the comments cause I do feel responsible and horrible for him and I hate myself for my poor discussions and the tattoo I had done at someone's house who reused the instrument and this stupid tattoo is a constant reminder and I hate myself for that but I have started seeing a dr I will be starting on treatments soon as I couldn't do it pregnant and I have been just doing lab work and appointments waiting to start the treatments hopefully soon .....
As for my son I was taking him to Drs after he was born at 6 months they told me to come back when he was older he has appointments at the infectious disease Dr and the gastro  Dr and I thought like the Drs said the chances of giving him the disease were rare and I am totally besides myself and devistated having  
Just found out I passed it to him I do feel totally defeated like I can deal with anything just not this not my baby and the more I read online the worse I worry but we were at the doctors today and she did think or prepare me for the fact that he is infected of course I broke down crying and I know they already think I am some piece of **** and I appreciate the posts and hearing that he can have it from birth and live past 20 as I read that's the expectancy of an infected person I know that my viral load is 31.70 though I have no idea what that translates to I know it's high my sons test did read positive for the antibodies and he is over 18 months so they should have passed but his test for RNA did come back UNDETECTED but that could just mean the viral load is so low the lab can't detect it usually I read anything under 200,000 which may be the case I have no idea but I can't sleep eat I am sick to my stomach and the waiting for answers is killing me and I just have to say how kind it was if anyone who left me a post it really means alot and helped me ease my worries thank you for posting  
Oh dear, I am so sorry. It really is rare to pass it on to your child.

Please take a deep breath and read and believe.
Your son will be not have symptoms and will do fine providing he has no other health issues.
Do see a Hepatologist soon to relieve your own mind and to see what sort of monitoring he needs.
There are drugs coming out that will cure him before he is old enough to understand what he had and they will be very easy to tolerate.

"He  will notlive past 20 as I read that's the expectancy of an infected person I know that my viral load is 31.70"
That is incorrect.
I had Hep.C nearly 40 years. Many of us are in our 50's and 60's and carried this virus for 3 or 4 decades before getting sick, most are still alive.

He has time, he is not terminal, he will have a long and full life with his loving Mom.
Most of all hear this-You are not to blame...We all suffer serious consequences whether we deserve them or not. You must know you never meant this to happen. Let the guilt go and be happy with your little family.

The ppl in the office likely shared your broken-heart and couldn't speak, don't be so sure they were judging you.
Get yourself to the Hepatologist as well and start a treatment plan for yourself. Take care of yourself.
Hugs, hon. You and your son will get through this!
You said this..........." I have no idea what that translates to I know it's high my sons test did read positive for the antibodies and he is over 18 months so they should have passed but his test for RNA did come back UNDETECTED"

If is PCR RNA came back undetected then he only has the antibodies and there is no concern at all. Even those of us that are cured from HCV will have the antibodies........ Wait until you see the doctor but from what you are saying it sounds as if his own immune system beat it and ALL is fine.

Wishing you the best
Just to add what I said above. Todays PCR RNA test would have at least a sensitive of <43, and if there was a amount under those levels it would have said <43 DETECTED.
I am sorry about the confusion in the post I didn't explain correctly my HCV test results said this
HCV Ratio.                        31.70 H      <1.0 Ratio
HEPATITIS C AB.           Reactive.         Non Reactive
That was my test results and I am not sure what that translates too is that a really high level of infection does that mean 3,100,070 I mean I don't understand that part and I have been to the Dr so many times
I keep sending the post before I am done sorry
Getting back to my post I have been to the doctor so many times and every time I go for blood work they forget something last time they forgot to check the type I have so now I am awaiting those results I hear certain types are harder to treat then others is that true?

My sons test results read just like this
I understand that sounds confusing but that is exactly how it reads I have done countless hours of research online and his appointment with a specialist isn't until Mon and the uncertainty is causing me so much stress though I do feel better after reading  everyone's posts
Thank you for your post I am sorry I said that obviously I need to educate myself on the matter of hepatitis c and I read online and it tells me children born infected have a 20 year prognosis but thank god I am learning this isn't true and event if he is infected I have to come to terms with that fact and deal with it and do whatever I have too, to get him on the right track and ensure that this disease does not hinder his life in anyway and if that means treatment or whatever it means for him I will stay strong try to remain positive hope for the best rid myself of this overwhelming guilt and follow up in everything ... Thank you so much for your help you don't know how much I appreciate it
It is very understandable that you are very concerned about your baby and feel bad about possibly transmitting Hep C to your baby. However, try not to blame yourself. It won't do any good to blame yourself and you did not willingly pass it to him anyway. Just try to go forward and take care of yourself and your baby. With treatment, you will be fine.

Also keep in mind that most of us on the forum have had Hepatitis C for decades, 30, 40, or more years. We are still here and most of us are doing fairly well and have only mild or moderate liver fibrosis. It generally takes many years to develop severe liver fibrosis. If your baby has Hep C, he can be treated before his liver disease progresses.

I have never seen a Hep C RNA test result that was worded the same way as the test your son had. Usually, it is very clear if the person is detected or undetected. Is there something else on the result paper? Maybe something else in parenthesis? Maybe something like:                    Result   (Reference Range)
I am thinking maybe DETECTED is the result.
And (NOT DETECTED) is the reference range.

Or did the doctor tell you it was Undetected.

Without actually seeing the actual result as it is printed, I just am not sure. However, without some other explanation on the paper (such as the words 'reference range' in parenthesis), DETECTED (UNDETECTED) does not make sense.

When you see your doctor, please have him/her explain in detail what everything means.

I would suggest consulting a Hepatologist. A Hepatologist can treat your Hep C and can treat your baby if your baby does have HCV.

I did copy and paste part of an article and a link. The article gives you some information on vertical transmission (mother to baby), when they test for HCV, various possibilities, percentages that develop HCV, percentages that clear the HCV on their own, treatment, etc.

From University of Washington:

Evaluation of Neonates, Infants, and Children

Children suspected to have acquired HCV by vertical transmission should have follow-up for a minimum of 18 months to establish or rule out a diagnosis of HCV infection. The accuracy of diagnosing HCV infection in neonates and infants is confounded by several factors: the persistence of maternal antibody, late seroconversion, intermittently detectable viremia, and potential viral clearance in the first few years of life. Maternal anti-HCV freely crosses the placenta and thus is found in virtually all newborns of HCV-infected mothers[11]. During the 12 months after birth the proportion of newborns with positive anti-HCV gradually declines and only 15% of children who do not acquire HCV will retain serum maternal antibody until 12 months of age (Figure 2)[11]; among the approximately 15% who maintain maternal antibody at 12 months of age, nearly all have resolution of anti-HCV by 18 months of age[11]. Children who have vertically-acquired HCV infection will also lose maternal antibody during the first 18 months of life, but develop their own anti-HCV, either following resolution of the maternal anti-HCV, or overlapping with maternal anti-HCV[3,5,7,8,9,11,12]. Twenty percent or more of vertically infected children may spontaneously clear HCV RNA in the first three years of life[9,28]. The recommended methods for diagnosis of vertically-acquired HCV infection are the detection of serum anti-HCV in a child at least 18 months of age or detection of HCV RNA on two separate occasions[10,17,30]. In the United States, the 2009 guidelines from the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases recommended delaying testing for HCV infection in children born to anti-HCV positive mothers until 18 months of age, when infection can be confirmed by the presence of serum anti-HCV antibody[17]. This recommendation is based on several factors, including the understanding that earlier diagnosis does not lead to intervention (therapy is not recommended by the AASLD for children younger than 2 years of age), a significant proportion of children spontaneously clear HCV during the first year of life, and early "false-positive" test results may generate significant unnecessary anxiety. These recommendations state that in the event an earlier diagnosis is desired, HCV RNA PCR testing may be performed at or after the infant's first well-child visit at 1 to 2 months[17]. Other experts have noted that detection of HCV RNA by nucleic acid amplification testing (NAAT) is more costly, less sensitive and less specific in the first 18 months of life compared with antibody testing at 18 or more months of age[17]. A more aggressive approach is proposed by European investigators: detection of HCV RNA by a NAAT at 2 to 3 months of age, followed by a second HCV RNA NAAT at 12 to 18 months and/or anti-HCV at 18 months[10,16,30].

Impact of Perinatal HCV Transmission

Approximately 75% of children vertically infected with HCV will develop chronic hepatitis C—80% with asymptomatic, inactive infection and 20% with active infection indicated by persistent viremia, elevated ALT and hepatomegaly[30,31]. Chronically infected children should be referred for further evaluation and follow-up, as management of their disease is similar to that of adults. Published clinical studies of vertically infected, untreated children followed to 16 years of age have found very little morbidity associated with chronic infection. Nevertheless, given the decades of infection required to produce substantial complications in HCV infected adults, further long-term outcome studies of vertical infection are indicated[30]. The 2009 AASLD Guidelines recommend considering treatment of hepatitis C in children 2 years of age and older, but identifying those children most likely to benefit from early therapy remains challenging[17,30,31]. In addition, the FDA has not approved these medications for the treatment of children less than 3 years of age. The newer medications that have recently been approved for hepatitis C treatment in adults (protease inhibitors) have not been sufficiently studied in children to recommend their use in this age group. Because of these multiple complicating issues, consultation with an expert is advised before consideration of treatment of hepatitis C in children.

I agree with Can-do-man that any HCV RNA test they ran would have been able to quantify (count) the virus down to 43 (some can quantify much lower) and would have been able to detect the virus down to a much lower level (some down to 2). And most of the tests clearly state Detected or Undetected.
So after re reading the paper I think you are right if saids RNA detected and the (not detected) must be the Refrence range what does it mean for him to have the RNA and I know my levels are 31.70 is that really high and is that maybe why he got if cause mg levels were so high do you think he will be able to be treated and cure it or event live a full life being that he is diagnosed so young his AST and ATL levels are already high thanks for your help
Hello there!
I want to start off by saying that everything happens for a reason. I wouldn't hold any guilt over having birth. I was 7 and half months pregnant when I found out my ex husband was hep c positive and simply never told me. I found out from his ex wife. After I found out, I immediately spoke to specialist about birth and breast feeding. I was instructed that giving birth would not effect his chances of contracting this disease. I was also told to breast feed, and that when he was born, and at 2 months, and at 18 months he would be tested for the disease. All of the specialist instructed me to give natural birth and to breast feed, so I did. My son did not end up positive, however, it is a gamble. I later found that my body fought off the disease and at that point did not need treatment, as it was "undetectable". However, 3 years later I became pregnant, and I gave birth to a still born. I then found out that the stress of being pregnant may have brought the disease back, and that it may have been the reason that my son was born still, and had already gone to heaven! No matter if your son is faced with this or not, IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT! And I promise you God wouldn't give you more than you could handle. And as you may not see it now, you will be Blessed with the strength to deal with this, and your son will most certainly have the strength! Kids are resilient! Just hold on to him, and know how lucky you are to have such a strong kiddo, and let go of the guilt and know you have to be strong for him! Also, none of us asked for this. I thought I had cleared it, and now I am on week 2 of treatment. Also, welcome to the site. This place is very welcoming and supportive! If you need anyone, I am here for you!!!!
According to the article above, "The recommended methods for diagnosis of vertically-acquired HCV infection are the detection of serum anti-HCV in a child at least 18 months of age or detection of HCV RNA on two separate occasions[10,17,30]." Also according to the same article, if your baby has HCV, your baby could still clear the virus on his own. "Twenty percent or more of vertically infected children may spontaneously clear HCV RNA in the first three years of life[9,28]. " So if he does have it, he could potentially still clear it on his own. If he does not clear it on his own, they will closely monitor his health. They will also discuss treatment with you and decide if and when he should treat.  

I think the first thing is that you really need to ask the doctor, "Does he or does he not have Chronic Hepatitis C." Given his abnormal labs, If he does have Hep C, I would also think he should be followed by a Pediatric Hepatologist. A Hepatologist specializes liver diseases.

If he does have Hep C and he is treated by a competent Hepatotlogist, I see no reason why he would not be able to be treated and cure and live a full life.

As far as your own lab result, I am not sure exactly what that means. Can you type exactly what the lab report says?
You said his recent RNA is "UNDETECTED", in your previous post.

To the best if my knowledge this means your son does not have Hepatitus (hepatitis) C.

But it's good that you have appointments with some specialists for him as they will better explain these results to you.

Best wishes
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