First of all thanks for the opportunity. Pls correct me if i'm wrong or asking wrong questions..
- Possible exposure at 12 Jan 2013
- Tomorrow, i will give a blood sample and take HCV PCR test for qualitative result, in order to see if i'm infected or not.
1) Am i doing the right thing? Taking the right test at right time?
2) How can i be sure if the lab is reliable or not. It has this QCMD certificate and it's a genetic diagnostic lab. They say they can provide the result in 5 days. Is it accurate?
3) If that test says i'm positive, i assume that will mean yes i am positive but if it says "negative", should i take another test at another time?
Anti-Hcv is the Hepatitis C Antibody. HCV PCR detects HCV RNA actually in the blood
Most people usually test for the antibody first and then HCV PCR if the antibody is detected so I was not exactly certain. I found this on the Body ******* web site:
A test can detect hepatitis C as soon as your immune system begins creating antibodies. However, because patients rarely display any symptoms, this condition isn't found in even a fraction of the people who have it.
Generally speaking, it takes anywhere from a week to several months for your body to produce the antibodies. Assuming that your body begins producing hepatitis C antibodies within a week of infection, and you take a blood test, the earliest the disease will be detected is an average of three weeks, including the time taken for the test.
The diagnostic algorithm says to re-test in 6 months if the result is negative
The CDC has this in the FAQ section:
How soon after exposure to HCV can HCV RNA be detected by PCR?
HCV RNA appears in blood and can be detected as early as 2–3 weeks after infection.
Have you tested for HCV Antibody? It is possible there could be presence of the antibody without being actually infected with the virus itself.
thanks. actually not. this will be the first test i'll ever take. since possible exposure date is now more than 3 wks earlier from today, i've been searching the tests for early diagnosis. to be honest i've been waiting this for 3 wks. i'd better take this qualitative thing with antibody test together and see a doctor with the results and see what's happening.. i've haf 40 acnes at my face due to stress in this 3 wks. anyway thanks everyone. livin' on a prayer with gloves at my hands..
You picked the right test if you want to know as early as possible. You didn't clarify what your possible exposure consisted of, but I just want to make sure you know that HCV is only transmitted from blood to blood. Just for a little perspective, my rough guess is that more than 99% of the people who come on this forum with worries about possible exposure are worrying over an incident that carried infinitesimally small risks. Still, for anyone who is worried the test is the way to go.
The length of the wait for your results after an HCV PCR test is quite variable. I have mine done at a major hospital and research institution and the results are usually back in 3-4 days. Some outside labs can take more than 2 weeks. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you and hope your results come back "undetected".
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