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Positive hepatitis C
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Positive hepatitis C

hi every one, i'm 24 years old and totally healthy. I play sports and do lots of exercise and i still eat much as normal. However, i took a blood test few days ago and the result is that i am positive to Hepatitis C. But later i took lots of tests and scannings of my liver and they told me that my liver is very good, and there's no need to worry about that. In case i'm still worried about that, i will have my liver checked again in 6 months. I'm really worried about it. Please help me out with this, thanks to all of you
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Avatar_m_tn
The HCV test you had may have been just the initial "HCV antibodies test"

This is usually what most doctors run  to ascertain whether or not there has been any exposure to HCV.

If this was positive it does not necessarily mean you have "chronic active HCV"
it could mean it was a false positive as "Asuncion" mentions or it could also mean you were once exposed to the virus and cleared it by your own immune system ,which happens in approx. 25% of cases.

If the above test was all you have had  your doctor now needs to follow up with an HCV/RNA by PCR blood test and this will tell the story of whether you have the virus or not.

If you have had this test already and Do have active virus  then  a discussion can take place with your doctor on when might be the best time to treat .

You are very young and for the most part the virus causes liver damage(fibrosis )over many years and most often takes decades for any significant damage to happen.

Treatments today are about 70 -80 % succesful and depending on what Genotype you have the treatment contain a combination or sometimes a triple mixture of drugs taken for anywhere from 24 to 48 weeks(depending on many factors)

There are also many new drugs being experimented on as we speak and these in all likelyhood will have even better success with possibly less side effects and shorter treatment times.(could be 3  to 5 years away)

All the above shoud be discussed with a doctor knowlegable iin HCV and it"s treatments(usually a gastorenterologist or Hepatologist)

Good luck and welcome to the group...feel free to ask anything you wish ..

Best ...
Will
13 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi, welcome to this forum.
You are very young, and since your liver is ok, you should talk with your doctor about waiting for the new meds that will be approved in a few years.

Did you took two HCV tests? Sometimes there are false positives.

Do you know your genotype?

Don´t worry to much, Hep C usually takes years to develop real damage. I was undignosed for more than 25 years and still have no cirrhosis.

Keep in touch, ask anything you want, this forum is a great source of information and support.

Best regards.

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Avatar_m_tn
The HCV test you had may have been just the initial "HCV antibodies test"

This is usually what most doctors run  to ascertain whether or not there has been any exposure to HCV.

If this was positive it does not necessarily mean you have "chronic active HCV"
it could mean it was a false positive as "Asuncion" mentions or it could also mean you were once exposed to the virus and cleared it by your own immune system ,which happens in approx. 25% of cases.

If the above test was all you have had  your doctor now needs to follow up with an HCV/RNA by PCR blood test and this will tell the story of whether you have the virus or not.

If you have had this test already and Do have active virus  then  a discussion can take place with your doctor on when might be the best time to treat .

You are very young and for the most part the virus causes liver damage(fibrosis )over many years and most often takes decades for any significant damage to happen.

Treatments today are about 70 -80 % succesful and depending on what Genotype you have the treatment contain a combination or sometimes a triple mixture of drugs taken for anywhere from 24 to 48 weeks(depending on many factors)

There are also many new drugs being experimented on as we speak and these in all likelyhood will have even better success with possibly less side effects and shorter treatment times.(could be 3  to 5 years away)

All the above shoud be discussed with a doctor knowlegable iin HCV and it"s treatments(usually a gastorenterologist or Hepatologist)

Good luck and welcome to the group...feel free to ask anything you wish ..

Best ...
Will
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Avatar_m_tn
thank you for your answer, Asuntion. I also heard that HCV takes many years to cause real damage to the liver. But i am really depressed and stressed because it costs so much money to get treatment for HCV, especially in a developing country like Vietnam. One sad thing is that many girls who know about my HCV don't wanna have a serious relationship with me cos they are afraid our children may get infected with HCV in the future. I have been so stressed out these days since i got that result
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you, Willbb. The doctors didn't tell me what kind of genotype i got. However he told me that everything is going well and my liver is very good. And when i wondered about the positive result he responded that the positive result indicated that i got infected with the virus once, but later my immune system might have cleared it away. He told me i could take another test in the next 6 months if i am still worried about that. Many people say that it's a very dangerous disease to deal with while the others say our immune system can sometimes clear the virus by itself. I'm really confused about it cos i'm living in a small city in Vietnam so there are not real experts of HCV here to ask for more information. I really appreciate your help!
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Avatar_m_tn
The reason your doctor didn't tell you then what genotype you have is because you are clear and only have the antibodies which is great news for you... Your immune system did the work for you. Congrats
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Avatar_m_tn
thanks can-do-man! what you just said helps me relax a little bit now. I'll have it checked again next month to see if there's something i need to do then
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Avatar_m_tn
i was told by the doctor that HCV is transmitted via blood contact or sharing blood products. However, i also read some websites on the internet which claim that HCV can also be transmitted by having sex with an infected person.
I'm still single and i am really concerned about this issue. My question is if i marry a girl, are there any risks for her to get infected by me. i am so depressed about this situation. Please help me out !!!
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Avatar_f_tn
http://hcvadvocate.org/hepatitis/easyfacts/sex.pdf

It is true that there is a very slight risk.
Use protection if you are worried...she is more likely to get it from your razor than from sexual intercourse with you.
I was married with HCV and had 4 children and no one in my family got it from me. That is the case for the vast majority of people.
There is also the option of treating and ridding yourself of the virus and then you can stop worrying about HCV altogether.
Relax, your life and your sex life is not over.
All the best to you
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Avatar_m_tn
thanks so much for your reply!!!
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Avatar_m_tn
"And when i wondered about the positive result he responded that the positive result indicated that i got infected with the virus once, but later my immune system might have cleared it away."

Have you had another test? Since you have no genotype like your doctor said you don't have Hep-C just the antibodies so you cannot infect somebody with something you don't have,
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Avatar_m_tn
I'll have my liver checked again this week and i hope everything will be fine.  Your response helps me relax a lot. Thank you for your help, can-do-man.
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Avatar_f_tn
  The thing is this:  you took an Antibody test, which showed that you had been exposed to Hep C. That test will always come out positive now, even if your immune system did fight it, and got rid of it.
   By the way, the immune system can only do this during the "acute" stage of Hep C contagion, which is the first 6 month after you were exposed.
   Now you need to take another kind of test, either one that takes tests for a Genotype, or one that test for a 'viral load' amount. it would be pointless to take the same Antibody test again, for the reason I explained.
  Did your Doctor already give you a genotype test, do you know, and it came out negative? If that is the case,  then you dont have Hep C, only the antibody, and that means that you arent contagious.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you for your response, BoceprevirGal !!!
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