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!
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.
"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.
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