Positive HCV antibody test results suggest exposure to the disease at some point in patient history; and even then, false positive results are a possibility.
Additionally, approximately 15-20% of patients that are exposed to the virus and present with positive antibody results will defeat the virus with their own immune response; leaving them with a status of antibody positive, RNA (active virus) negative.
For confirmation of active infection, a ‘HCV RNA by PCR’ is required. The results of this test are conclusive for active infection.
An antibody test is only able to show that the body has been exposed to the virus.A positive antibody test does not mean that the virus is still present in the body-some people are exposed and clear the virus before it becomes a chronic condition.In order to detect current infection status a more specific PCR test would be performed to determine whether the virus was present or not.
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