When the hepatitis C virus (HCV or Hep C for short) enters your body, your immune system releases chemicals into your bloodstream to help fight off the Hep C virus. These are called antibodies. If you have HCV antibodies it means that you have been infected with HCV, but it does not mean that
you have active HCV. For some people (2 to 4 out of 10) the body’s natural
defenses can get rid of the virus, but for the other 6 to 8 people the body cannot kill off the virus. The most common antibody test used is the Elisa
or EIA test. The HCV Rapid Antibody Test is another test that will detect HCV antibodies. In order to find out if the hepatitis C virus is in your body you will need to have another blood test called a viral load test.
✦ Even if you have been infected with hepatitis C, your
body may have been able to get rid of the virus all
on its own. That’s why it’s so important to have a
viral load test.
✦ Having HCV antibodies does not protect you from
becoming re-infected with Hep C.
✦ Try not to worry too much – it usually takes many
years for the virus to damage the liver.
If you have hepatitis C (HCV or Hep C for short), your doctor will take a lot of blood tests to help manage your health more effectively. One test, called the viral load test, will tell you if you have HCV in your body and how much of the virus is in you. When you have HCV it just doesn’t stay in your liver, but it can also be found in your blood. HCV is very active and makes lots of copies of itself. The viral load test is the ONLY way to measure how much
HCV is inside you.
It Is Important to Remember…
✦ The viral load will tell you if you have the
virus in your body.
✦ The viral load tell you if treatment is working
and how long some people with HCV need
to be treated.
✦ What the viral load doesn’t tell you is how
much damage is occurring in the liver.
I also have come back w/a negative HCV test. For years I have been told I have HCV but it had gone dormant in my spine. I have been reading a lot about it lately and from what I have gathered is that 'YES' it can come back.
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