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Hep C Scare? and Joining the army!
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Hep C Scare? and Joining the army!

Hey people so I applied to join the army. As you can see why im here

7 Months ago i joined up, 3 weeks into the process got my blood test done. It came back Hep c Positive.

So they told me to get futhur testing, I got about 12 test done - 7 PCRS all come back negative for the infection in my blood, the only thing that remained was the anti bodies, ive also had ultra sounds. - currently waiting on riba tests.. also seen two specialists, gastronologist and a infectious disease specialist whos is connected with the army. who said its either a false positive or ive had contact with the disease but the body fought it off therefore im no risk.

So i wait for 5 weeks they get back to me saying I am still Hep c positive

What the hell? So they said i can appeal again which i will and if i get a no I will take it higher once again, till i win.

Im not sure what they are thinking any help would be great





Also a letter from my infectious disease specialist.


i refer to this applicant for entry into the Australian regular army


i note that pre-recruitment screening for hepatitis c shows a positive result thought two different methodologies at Queensland medical Laboratories and a positive result at Sullivan nicoladies which was not confirmed by murex assay.

subsequent to these discordant results mr hegarty had has four pcr assay split between both labratotires

there are two alternative explanations for this situation

1. either the hepatitis c antibody discordant results are false positive results and i think this is the most likely explanation

2 the alternative explanation is hepatitis c antibody results shows orevious expsoure to hep c but no active infection at present

the patient has no risk factor for hep c. I think the former explanation that these are false positive results is more likely, but the latter cannot be excluded, either way, under the current defense force regulations, and regardless of  potiental aruguments in relation to re-activation in circumstances of immunosuppresion or re-infection, mr hegarty has no hep c virus in the blood therefor in myview no barrier to his recruitment.
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669455_tn?1244619977
Also came back with no viral load what so ever.
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Hegs: "i note that pre-recruitment screening for hepatitis c shows a positive result thought two different methodologies at Queensland medical Laboratories and a positive result at Sullivan nicoladies which was not confirmed by murex assay."

Could you check what you wrote above? It seems to me the result from Queensland Lab would say negative in order to be discordant with the Sullivan Lab.

According to the conclusion, you do not have HCV. You say you had seven PCR tests for virus, all negative and those are definitive tests, unlike the antibody tests. (Are you sure there were seven PCR's?!)

The antibody tests can be false positive and are only pre-tests to find out if you actually have the virus. The PCR's say you don't, so you don't and therefore the recommendation is that there is no barrier to your recruitiment.

I didn't know there was a barrier to recruitment if you have HCV.

Several people here contracted HCV during their time in the military.

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In Australia you are not allowed to join the armed forces if you are HCV positive.  Not sure what the reasoning is behind it. It could be due to the potential risk of passing on the virus if you are injured during combat.


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That would be correct, I have no viral load and yes i have 7 PCR-RNA, I have no hep c only hep c antibodies. Both labs showed NEG results. And one neg for murex.

Sorta of confused as they are still saying no..
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am i one of the lucky ones to get rid of it by myself?
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letter from my infectious disease specialist.

2 the alternative explanation is hepatitis c antibody results shows orevious expsoure to hep c but no ***active*** infection at present
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An infectious disease specialist should know better.
no ***active*** infection at present.
This terminology is used for  hep B, no such thing as active/inactive hep C.
This #2 sentence is probably raising flags with your recruitment.
Plus it is unusual in a letter that a Dr would misspell exposure and obvious...was this a cut and paste or your own interpretation of the letter?

Anyhow, if you test negative on a very sensitive viral load test, you do not have HCV period. You either have Hep C or you don't.
IMO, no need to put "no ***active*** infection at present." in a letter trying to explain why you don't have hcv and should be recruited.

All thats needed is and is 100% true is,  'no infection at present'

Go to a hepatologist and get a proper letter that explains it correctly without the scare factor of active/inactive stigma over your head.

you
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I didn't know there was a barrier to recruitment if you have HCV.
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Terrible situation but door number 2 is more likely.  Some agencies are typically extra ignorant on this issue, no offense to your branch of the armed services.  You could have been exposed to HepC and cleared it on your own and the test the army gives is still showing that you test positive for the antibodies.  The other negative tests you have given were done with a different manufactured test.  If I were you I would appeal their decision because at this point you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.  Try at all cost to get them to prove that you are still contagious with only an antibody test.  However it would benefit you to find out which test the army uses in determining your future, meaning who is the manufacturer of the actual test so you can present a better case.  The bottom line in my opinion, which in all honesty is just a guess.  Is that if they continue to get a positive test then they may in fact be able to keep you out.  
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Several people here contracted HCV during their time in the military.
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Unfortunately contracting HepC while you are in the army may be a totally different animal than trying to get in with a positive antibody test.  good luck and utilize all options as you definitely deserve to get in if you want    
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669455_tn?1244619977
hey mate thank you.

No i didnt have much time so i had to quickly write it up sorry about that.

Yes ive had plenty of tests now very sensitive test also. All came back for no viral load what so ever. Going back to see another specialist next week. Im going to see a infectious disease specialist. to clear it up...


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IMHO, do not go back to your infectious disease specialist.
I repeat
Go to a hepatologist and get a proper letter that explains it correctly without the scare factor of active/inactive stigma over your head.

apache
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669455_tn?1244619977
hey mate, ive been to one.

The then army pointed me to see an infectious diseases specialists.

cheers.
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Ok... wouldn't the Hepatologist write you a proper letter without the active/inactive stigma?

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669455_tn?1244619977
well all i know is the army told me to see that specialist.

Get him to determine the outcome, whats my best choice here?

Am i hep c free?
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Hegs is at the pre-recruitment screening stage and seven PCR's say he has no virus.  The initial antibody reports were DISCORDANT, which means that one was negative and the other positive. The false positive was probably why he was given so many PCR's.

As Hegs said, he transcribed the info himself, hence the typos. :)

Hegs, you never had HCV, according to the tests.

Don't sweat the antibody tests, one way or the other. They're only baby tests and can give false results.

The real thing are the PCR's and you say you had seven of them, so you can rest easy!

Be careful in the military to not share razors or toothbrushes. Although everyone is pre-screened in Oz, according to Lauma, things happen. You're best off avoiding any blood-to-blood contact. This can happen, though rarely, via shared personal grooming items.

Best regards,

Port
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669455_tn?1244619977
thank port feels good to hear that

I still wonder today if i had hep c, I Thank every moment :)

Will serve my country best i can :)
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still stumped on how to prove them wrong...

And what specialist to see i have one next week to see an infectious disease specialist.
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It could be all you need to do is have them prove that you are contagious with only a positive antibody test.  I personally don't think anyone can prove that one way or the other.  They could tell you to take a hike but you have nothing to lose at this point.  What you really need to find out is if they in fact can keep you out with a positive antibody test.   good luck
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Apache knows about these letter things. You don't have HCV, but the letter unfortunately does NOT entirely exclude the possibility that you may have had it in the past (to cover its bases?).

Since the root problem is the one positive antibody test in the initial screening compared to the other negative antibody test, it seems you could be re-tested (even seven times!) with antibody tests and use that to further document and protect yourself

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669455_tn?1244619977
I will find out tomorrow or next Wednesday also having a riba test i, I also heard i shouldn't get knocked back if i have antibodies they just want a complete NO that i don't have the disease.
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Hegs, serial HCV antibody tests should demonstrate unequivocally that you don’t currently have Hep C. The RIBA results will conclusively tell whether or not you were ever exposed. The antibody tests are subject to false positives; they are an inexpensive way to screen large groups of people, but aren’t very specific in nature.

It shouldn’t be difficult to get a doctor to sign off that you pose no risk of contagion; you *can not* pass antibodies to someone else, and they will *not* harm you, either.

Best to you—

Bill
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Thank goodness you finally woke up,  Bill, to help out here. It's 7:23 AM your time and I know you've already been busy helping Zoogie. :)

Hegs looks good to go, right?

Gosh, I hate those false positives - I've had some for other health issues and they play havoc with your mind.

xoxo
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Good morning, Port! I’ve always gotten up early; probably a carry over from construction, and trying to get a jump on the day :o). The false positive thing is problematic, huh? It can really disrupt lives, and can take forever to straighten out… it’s like a black mark on the hand back in the old days, isn’t it?

Be well,

Bill
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thank bill you sorted it out, Hopefully I can get the specialist to write that down and use that letter against them :) that d be great, Big day next Wednesday, Hoping for false positive. But either way I don't have it :) and im greatful :D

Cheers to all!
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also what if they army keep knocking me back?
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Hegs, serial HCV antibody tests should demonstrate unequivocally that you don’t currently have Hep C.

Oops! This sentence *should* have read:

Hegs, serial HCV *RNA* [PCR] tests should demonstrate unequivocally that you don’t currently have Hep C.

Either way, you should be fine; good luck with your service :o)

Bill
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And Hegs, you're NOT hoping for a false positive next Wednesday. You're hoping for a negative, which will mean you have no antibodies.

It's a little confusing but negative is good, positive is bad.

Let us know how it goes.
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Also a questions what is a murex test or called Elisa i belive?
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ELISA is an acronym for ‘enzyme linked immunosorbent assay’; this is probably the methodology used for your antibody tests. The RIBA is a test that will confirm the exposure; however, the one that really matters through all this is the HCV RNA PCR test; this is the one that measures whether or not the active virus is actually in your blood or not. At this point, the other tests really don’t make much difference in terms of active infection. I'm unfamiliar with Murex.

Bill
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669455_tn?1244619977
Hey bill, yep confirmed 7 PCR RNA tests. I had also 4 murex test - negative, I was told murex is another form at riba but not as sensitive.


But positive for antibodies. xD
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669455_tn?1244619977
So the army sent me a letter saying im still hep C positive.

They said i can appeal! which i will - this week i got my riba test coming in, and today i had every hep c test you can. and specialist wenesday!

Any help would be great :)
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From your complete explanation you do not have HepC.  The army is using the incorrect verbiage to tell you that you are still HepC positive.  You are testing positive for HepC because you were once exposed, that is all.  You will forever test positive for the Hep C antibodies and some situations will still say you are HepC positive.  There's nothing you can do to change that.  

With they still take you continue to test positive for antibodies?
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Well does anyone know if they army do accept on antibodies.. ive been told i should be fine to make it..
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669455_tn?1244619977
Woah!

Test come into for Riba, murex and another PCV RNA

- riba, Was no reactive.. false positive!

- Murex - Negative!

- PCR RNA, False!

Means im false positive correct?
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The PCR RNA should say something like Virus Not Detected. Could you post it as written on your copy?

All perfect news, exactly what should clear the way to your induction without further hassle or headache.

Again, this all means YOU ARE NEGATIVE, which is what you want for the all-clear to proceed.

Congrats. That was a heck of a lot of bloodwork you did, so you can rest easy now.
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Ok test are here

Hep C(supplementary) non reactive

Hep c Immunoblot (indeterminate)?
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Any help


cheers.
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Ok test came back

PCR RNA - negative

Hep C(supplementary) non reactive

Hep c Immunoblot (indeterminate)

Also a letter from another specialist stating


Mr _____ attended on may 1th in relation to false positive hep c virus serology

This serology was performed as part of his application into the Australian regular army.

You will have previously received correspondence from Mr Dr Whitey, Infectious diseases physician in relation to this matter.

I confirm that Mr ____ has false positive hep c virus serology. It is my opion that he has never had contact with hep c virus

I belive that mr ____ false positve hep c virus serology is not a consideration in relation to the proexcssing of his application for entry into the australian regular army.

I would be pleased to discuss this matter further if required.


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3 tests read no antibodies, if it looks like a duck...

from the inventor of the NGI-PCR, Labcorps most sensitive >1 tests we were told this:
slide contamination, and improper machine cleaning account for the majority of false positives. There's always a human element in every machine run test..so there will always be a rate of error even in a machine able to detect parts per million it doesn't rule out one sample brushing against another at some point etc.

you will probably have to have a liver doctor confirm this in writing before the army believes it though...sad to say.

Best of everything to you, and congrats on your patriotic attitude. I'm sure you'll do fine whereever you land. But don't give up, you just need someone who actually understands these tests to convince the less knowledgable bureaucrats.

mb
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669455_tn?1244619977
Inst an infectious diseases specialist the highest you can go to prove it? and Ive seen a gastroangologist, then the army sent me to him.
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Hegs, man; it looks like you have it in the bag, now! Good work, and good luck—

Bill

By the way; put that letter in a safe place; you never know what other obstacles you might encounter in life, OK?
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hey bill :)... cheers bud :),

By the way care to explain this?

Hep C(supplementary) non reactive

Hep c Immunoblot (indeterminate)


I shall keep it safe :)
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Iummunoblot is the riba too.
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Some things in life are better left a mystery, hegs :o)

Take good care, and play safe— they say the army uses real bullets; and you were frightened you might have had HCV!

Bill
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669455_tn?1244619977
Rejected again

Can i ever win?
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I just dont understand any of this bureaucracy hegs and that is all it is.  How you are being penalized for having a disease that you simply DO NOT HAVE is insane. I would see if you can find a lawyer who will help you probono or something.  I mean legally and technically you just don't have this disease and they should easily be able to prove THAT since you don't!

Is there anybody you can call and ask? Some sort of government type agency in Australia like legal aid or something up here in the States?

I really think that would be my next move.  THis is ABSURD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm so sorry.
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im not sure what my options are now..

How would i battle with them? Wouldnt they walk all over me..?

Any suggestions
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Any suggestions
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they finally accepted me thank for the help everyone
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man would really like to talk to you!! i have read this entire thread and we are almost sharing the exactly same story. I have had 4 neg murex (viral load tests) and only positive to Hep C antibody. my doctor also believes that i have a cross-reacting anitbody: a antibody that may be involved for something else as i do not have any active hep c blah blah blah... i would like to delve deeper into this.......

would really like to compare notes and perhaps this is something that the army should look deeper into. power in numbers...... from what i have read it seems to be a common probalem globally that their tests have a high false positive rate, one of which we should raise and question with defense force doctors as a multiple event, not just a one off.

mate if you want to chat please feel free to contact me on ***@****


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