Antibodies can take up to six months to appear. Usually they present within 6-12 weeks but depending on the time of exposure verses when the test was performed it is possible to test negative on the initial antibody test.
We have been together for 13 years.. and I most likely had since we have been together of course did not know. I know it really does not matter how many questions I ask.. it is going to be what it is. It is just crazy because when I was told I had hep c they should have ran the full test at that time.. I have worked so hard to put all this behind me and now I am so worried that I am sick.
You were diagnosed and treated successfully two years ago. If your husband tests negative for the antibody now, then no, he would not be positive in spite of a negative antibody test. Negative antibody test now means no Hep C. Good luck with this.
Generally it is not considered useful to run "the full test" when a person tests negative for the antibodies. These are usually done as follow up in the presence of a positive antibody test.
There is a small number of antibody false negative tests that occur. Many of these are for cases where the infection is too recent for the buildup of antibodies, or in patients with compromised immune systems (transplant patients, etc.), who's immune system does not mount enough of a response to be detected accurately.
If you still have reasonable concerns about the possibility of infection, a PCR test (actually detects the presence of the virus rather than antibodies) has a sensitivity and specficity of 100%. This means that there are no false negatives and no false positives, respectively. It is essentially 100% accurate. I say essentially because they all have a lower limit of detection, but this limit is far below the measure of an active infection.
I think the test is not cheap, but it is certainly better than losing sleep over the issue, in my opinion.
- Good luck to you both -
There is no reason to run "the full test" if the antibody test is negative. Those additional test simply confirm or refute hepatitis C in the presence of a positive antibody test. It's not possible to have hepatitis C and test negative to the antibodies unless the test yielded a false negative, which is rare.
False negative antibody tests generally occur in people who were recently exposed, in which case the immune system has not developed sufficient antibodies to be detected; or it also happens in people with incompetent immune systems as in some transplant patients or HIV patients. If he does not fit into one of these profiles, I believe there is no reason to get another test or lose any more sleep.
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