Hepatitis C Community
HEP C window period
About This Community:

This forum is for questions about medical issues and research aspects of Hepatitis C such as, questions about being newly diagnosed, questions about current treatments, information and participation in discussions about research studies and clinical trials related to Hepatitis. If you would like to communicate with other people who have been touched by Hepatitis, please visit our new Hepatitis Social/Living with Hepatitis forum

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
Blank Blank

HEP C window period

What is the window period for HCV?  When do most people test pos?

Can a Liver Function Test used in combination with a HCV antibody test help to make a diagnosis.  In other words, if both of these were normal at 3 mos post exposure would this be encouraging.  I know there is a PCR RNA test too, but it is expensive.
Related Discussions
4 Comments Post a Comment
Blank
186606 tn?1263513790
i went positive for antibodies at about seven weeks post. but it was a surgical exposure and i was an acute.
Blank
Avatar f tn
ok thank you, do you know what research states regarding window periods.  I've been struggling to really find conclusive info.  I would assume 3 mos would pick up most people if they were truly infected.  Do you think normal liver enzymes and a neg antibody at 3 mos would be fairly conclusive or is a 6 mo test needed?

Blank
Avatar f tn
Antibody test

The initial screening test for hepatitis C is a blood test which checks for antibodies. The human body produces antibodies in response to the virus.
The antibody test looks for these specific antibodies, not for the virus itself, to work out if you have been exposed to the hepatitis C virus. It may take up to three months for antibodies to appear in your blood following infection (although it is usually positive by 6 weeks). This is known as the ‘window period’. During this time antibody testing may not provide an accurate result.

A negative antibody test result usually means that a person has not been infected with the virus. However, the blood sample may have been taken in the window period before antibodies can be detected.

A positive antibody test result means antibodies were found, which is proof that the virus must have infected you at some point in time. About 25% of people who develop hepatitis C antibodies in response to infection get rid of (or clear) the virus within 6 months. If people are able to clear the virus, the antibodies remain in the blood for some time, possibly the rest of their life. This means a positive antibody test doesn’t necessarily mean someone has the virus.
A different test, the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test is used to see whether you have the virus in your blood.

One situation when the antibody test is not reliable is in a newborn baby.
Babies born to mothers infected with hepatitis C can have a positive antibody test without actually being infected. This positive ‘maternal antibody’ usually only lasts 12 –18 months, therefore, it is recommended that testing of children should not be done until after this time.
Blank
190885 tn?1333029491
are you sure about the three month window?? i still worry about one of my kids coming down with this virus someday having both parents with hep c..i hope that three month thing is right..i guess it's possible the kids could have had it and cleared it themselves.....billy
Blank
Post a Comment
To
Recent Activity
406584 tn?1399591666
Blank
10356 commented on VICourageous's status
12 hrs ago
406584 tn?1399591666
Blank
Dee1956, and 10356 commented on 10356's status
12 hrs ago
475555 tn?1469307939
Blank
mike716 SVR May, 2015 (Sovaldi+Olys... Comment
Jul 23
Blank
Weight Tracker
Track your weight over time
Start Tracking Now
Top Hepatitis Answerers
317787 tn?1468754865
Blank
DC
163305 tn?1333672171
Blank
Rural Mural, CA
446474 tn?1446351282
Blank
San Francisco, CA
Avatar universal
Blank
1747881 tn?1358189534
Blank
Greeley, CO
2059648 tn?1439770265
Blank
Hepatitis C Community Resources