Thanks Bill for your reply. The information is rather upsetting. This means that one has to keep testing for more than 6 months to be sure. I wonder if there is any other test that can determine the presence/absence of the virus much earlier than 6 months.
Yes, the ‘HCV RNA by PCR’ test looks for presence of active, RNA virus rather than indirectly through antibodies. This test is very specific for active infection, but costs considerably more than the HCV antibody screening test; doctors are often reluctant to order it for this and other reasons. Discuss your exposure with your doctor, and he will order the appropriate test.
From the CDC again:
Q) How soon after exposure to HCV can HCV RNA be detected by PCR?
A) HCV RNA appears in blood and can be detected as early as 2–3 weeks after infection.
Yes there is. HCV RNA by PCR can detect the presence of HCV virus in the blood as soon as two weeks after exposure. More expensive than an antibody test but if waiting upsets you and causes anxiety the PCR will be well worth the peace of mind.
Thanks Bill and Trinity for your help. I think I will go for the HCV RNA test that both of you have suggested. I was wondering if you could also suggest a similar test for HBV. What about HBV DNA test?
By the way, I have tested negative for both Anti-HCV (ELISA) and HbsAg (ECLIA) at 9 weeks.
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