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Hepatitis C antibodies
Yesterday my family doctor told me that I tested positive for Hep C antibodies. He is scheduling further testing with a specialist, I'm guessing PCR? My question is, it's been at least 4 or more years since I could have been exposed to it. What is the gestation period and or would it show further along? I'm very concerned and hopeful that my liver fought it off and I don't have it. Any help would be appreciated.
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I got this off of another site...

If I've been exposed to Hepatitis C, how long will it take before I know I have the disease?
The amount of time that elapses between infection and the development of symptoms (incubation period) may take up to six months with the average being 6-9 weeks. After initial exposure, Hepatitis C RNA can be detected in blood in 1-3 weeks. Remember, some people don't know they have been exposed and symptoms don't occur for years. If you know you have been exposed, or are at risk for Hepatitis, tell your doctor.

I hope you don't have it.  It's a sucky disease.  Keep your fingers crossed!

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Two things can happen post infection:

- You can become symptomatic with acute hepatitis. There are a raft of obvious syptoms that you can look up easily, but its hard to mistake it for anything else if you get the full bag of symptoms

- You can experience nothing unusual as the virus slowly damages your liver through chronic hepatitis.

For the majority of HCV patients, the chronic disease can go on for literally decades before something happens to trigger a diagnosis. I had elevated AST & ALT for the best part of 30 years. Not one doctor [ most of whom remarked on the high liver enzymes] followed up with further tests. I was just plain lucky that one terrific doctor insisted on taking a raft of tests, which exposed the HCV.

So, you've been very lucky if your HCV has been picked up this early. Its MUCH easier to treat in the early stages, so theres every reason to expect you can clear it up completely. DO NOT ignore it.
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Thanks for the info. This is a wonderful support site. Everybody seems to be very caring and knowledgable. I guess you really need to be to combat this terrible affliction. God bless all of you.
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Was your initial test for antibody confirmed with a Riba test?  If the initial test was a score of <3, there is a good chance it is false +.  Riba is VERY specific for Hcv and if that is neg, the Cdc says the initial screen was false+.  If the Riba is +, then you have a definite exposure to Hcv.  The Pcr qualitative test check for the virus not antibody.  Some people are antibody + and virus  neg, which is Ok.  the only restriction is you cannot donate blood if you are Hcv antibody + and virus neg.
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Was your initial test for antibody confirmed with a Riba test?  If the initial test was a score of <3, there is a good chance it is false +.  Riba is VERY specific for Hcv and if that is neg, the Cdc says the initial screen was false+.  If the Riba is +, then you have a definite exposure to Hcv.  The Pcr qualitative test check for the virus not antibody.  Some people are antibody + and virus  neg, which is Ok.  the only restriction is you cannot donate blood if you are Hcv antibody + and virus neg.
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