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Is this enough or should I continue?
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Is this enough or should I continue?

Dear all!

I would highly appreciate your opinion here since I find it hard to get answers from doctors sometimes. I had a low risk exposure to HCV and I had had following tests done so far:

@ 6 weeks: HCV-PCR (qualitative) and HCV-Antibody : both negative

@ 12 weeks: HCV-PCR (qualitative) and HCV-Antibody : both negative

Is this enough proof that I did not get infected? I would really like to believe that and move on with my life and leave this incident behind me. Can I believe that PCR test should have been positive by 12 weeks if I would be infected?

Thank you for answering and all the best for you all!
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Avatar_f_tn
According to what I have heard and read if you were infected a PCR would show a VL after 3 weeks.  I would say you can move on. But who knows I could be wrong I am sure somebody else will have a definite answer for you.
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Avatar_m_tn
The qualitative Pcr is more sensitive than the quantitative.  Two neg Pcrs, at 6 and 12 weeks plus two neg antibody tests at 6 and 12 weeks puts you home free.

Stop testing/stop worrying.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for your replies!

I just worry because I´ve read that sometimes the PCR can also be negative because VL fluctuates. Do you know about this?

Even if I´m scared the other side of my brain says that chanches of getting 2 negative PCR tests if really positive would be quite astronomical. Am I right?

Have you ever heard that someone with 2 neg. PCR tests would actually be positive? I have also heard that PCR normally shows the infection in 2-6 weeks. Do you know is this true?

Thank you once again; you are wonderfull people!
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184420_tn?1326743408
Even if I´m scared the other side of my brain says that chanches of getting 2 negative PCR tests if really positive would be quite astronomical. Am I right?


YES
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Avatar_f_tn
This is from the CDC's webpage - and being Canadian, I don't know how reliable information from the CDC is .. I know I've read things on Canadian gov't websites that are out of date.  

http://www.cdc.gov/std/Treatment/2006/hepatitis-c.htm

"Persons newly infected with HCV typically are either asymptomatic or have a mild clinical illness. HCV RNA can be detected in blood within 1–3 weeks after exposure. The average time from exposure to antibody to HCV (anti-HCV) seroconversion is 8–9 weeks, and anti-HCV can be detected in >97% of persons by 6 months after exposure. Chronic HCV infection develops in 60%–85% of HCV-infected persons; 60%–70% of chronically infected persons have evidence of active liver disease. The majority of infected persons might not be aware of their infection because they are not clinically ill. However, infected persons serve as a source of transmission to others and are at risk for CLD or other HCV-related chronic diseases for decades after infection."

Based on that information, if it were me, I'd get tested again at 6 months and then at 12 months to eliminate that 97% of people who are clear by virtue of a six month test.  Get tested at 12 months .. and I would say that you can be very very grateful.

That is what I would do .. if it were me.  

And btw....you don't have a viral load at the moment.  You aren't positive for the antibody in the first place and without the antibody, there is no viral load.  Your stats are looking very good so far.

Trish
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Avatar_f_tn
Wow testing at 12 months... Ok. I guess I have to think about that. I´m just wondering that if my 12 weeks HCV RNA (PCR) test was negative  and it can be detected 1-3 weeks after exposure....

Are they maybe talking about Antibody tests??? I know that HCV RNA becomes positive a lot earlier that the body developes antibodies....

Any other opinions about retesting at 12 months?

Thank you!
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Avatar_f_tn
Actually...I may have read the above wrong.  It seems to indicate antibodies will show up by 9 weeks.  You're at 12 weeks and no antibodies.  No antibodies, no viral load.

"I know that HCV RNA becomes positive a lot earlier that the body developes antibodies.... "

I'm not sure how you can have positive HCV RNA without having any antibodies.  That doesn't make any sense to me.  You can't have viral load without antibodies.  
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