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Recent transmission
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Recent transmission

I recently had blood work done and had never been tested for Hepatitis, so I decided to get tested for all STDs and the results were positive for Hep C. I had had STD tests done before, but only a urine and finger prick test for HIV.

I haven't been conclusively diagnosed, but I have a couple of questions. I have never used IV drugs, and have not been a particularly promiscuous person (under 10 partners in my life). I am 28 years and am now married. I had no idea I had the virus when I got together with my wife.

What are the chances I contracted this through sexual transmission? Also, what is the probability that I would now have passed this to my wife? I have told her about the diagnosis of course and am going to get her tested. I can live with the fact that I may have Hep C, but it is tearing me apart that I may have passed this on to my wife. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
22 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_m_tn
I should also add that I have never engaged in homosexual sex with a man.
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766573_tn?1365170066
Hepatitis C is not an STD. The % of people who contract the virus via sexual exchange is low to rare. Either way having your spouse get tested might be a good idea but mostly it sounds like you need to follow this through since you are worrying without enough factual information.

I am unclear on the timeline of all this. But it sounds like the next step for you is to get "conclusively diagnosed" and see if there is actual presence of the virus in your blood.

The thing is on the panels you describe what is normally tested is the presence of the Hepatitis C Antibody. Many people clear the antibody on their own many go on to develop the actual virus. Based on what you have said so far and not really knowing when you were possibly exposed I would have the HCV PCR.

It sounds like it is time to find out if you actually HCV or if you cleared the virus on your own.
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Avatar_m_tn
I have gone to my primary care physician and had specific tests done to determine whether or not I have HCV. I should have the results within a couple of days. I don't mean to come of as ignorant on the issues surrounding HCV. I am merely trying to gather information to make sure that I do not continue to spread the virus to those I care about. I am also confused as to how I could have contracted the virus, given that I have not engaged in behavior that is typically associated with its transmission. I do appreciate your feedback. Any additional thoughts are welcome. Thank you.
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446474_tn?1404424777
No one can say where you got exposed to the hepatitis C virus. Most people who are infected don't know when they got it either. Frankly it doesn't matter and worrying about it will not give you the answer. There is no answer. You need to except it and live going forward not backward. The point is you were exposed to the virus and need to follow through to find out if you are chronically infected or not, by having an HCV RNA viral load test. First find out if you are infected or not. Then take appropriate action.

"What are the chances I contracted this through sexual transmission? Also, what is the probability that I would now have passed this to my wife?"

Hepatitis C is a virus that is passed through blood. Very rarely through sex. As someone posted, HCV is is NOT a STD. So your fears of being infected through sexual practices or exposing your wife to it through sex are unfounded in reality.

"*Based upon 8377 person-years of follow-up, the maximum prevalence of HCV infection among sexual partners of people with chronic HCV infection was 1.2%.

* The maximum incidence rate of HCV sexual transmission was 0.07% per year, or about 1 new infection per 190,000 sexual contacts.

* No specific sexual practices were found to be associated with both partners in a couple being HCV positive."

Move forward. Find out if you actually are infected. If you are you should learn more about hepatitis C and its treatment as there are various treatments and new ones that will be available soon.

You don't even know if you are infected. Try to relax and what to find out the facts before jumping 10 steps ahead.

Good luck.
Hector
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766573_tn?1365170066
I think all of us go through the period of question and wonder as to just how we contracted the virus. It is a normal phase to go through. But hang in there since you do not know whether you actually have the virus. Either way there is lots of support on here and you do not have to go through this alone.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you very much for the responses. It eases my anxiety to know that if I have a low probability of passing HCV to my wife. I'll keep my thread updated with the results of my tests.
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Avatar_f_tn
  It would really bother me, if I wasn't in a "high risk" category, and at age 28 yrs, found out I had Hep C.  It is a lucky thing that your Doctor tested you for it, and there is still a 25% chance that it is only an antibody to the virus, and not the actual disease (as you are probably aware of).
  At your age, your Mom is most likely in the Baby Boomer category, people born between 1946~1964, and there is a 5% chance of Maternal Transmission, during child-birth.  The reason our age group has a higher incidence of Hep C, is because Hep C was a mystery until 1991, so adequate sterilization techniques werent properly carried out, especially in the case of Blood Transfusions, and blood given to Hemophiliacs, and to a lesser degree, other surgical equipment that is invasive.
  I can imagine Hep C being passed during a fist-fight, where lots of blood to blood contact is being made,  but this isn't listed on the CDC, but again, think blood to blood contact.
  There is a problem in the male homosexual community, concerning
Hep C infection, but not between monogamous couples.  What kind of sex  is considered "high-risk"? As an example I would use sex fueled by street drugs such as Meth (often taken with Viagra and Cialis) that lasts a very long time, and the high from the drug makes the user unaware of lacerations, along with multiple and unknown sexual partners, and this applies to the hetero and homo sexual population, of course.
  
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Avatar_m_tn
Pretty confused right now and I'm wondering if anyone can offer some guidance. My first test (which showed a positive result) was done through stdtestexpress.com and the results were as follows:
Hepatitis C
Value: >11.0
Range: 0.0-0.9
Result: Positive

I then had some blood work done through Kaiser and my primary care physician and the results looked like this:
Hepatitis C Virus, AB, EIA QL   -   Non Reactive

If I had the second test done first, I'm sure I would not even be questioning whether or not I had contracted HCV. But I'm confused by the differing results. They are both antibody test results with differing outcomes. Is there any reason for this? Is it likely the first test was a false-positive?
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Avatar_f_tn
  Yes. What makes you think these are "Antibody" tests, is that word on both labs?
  I am wondering if the one from Kaiser may be a "Qualitative" test, only because I see the initials "QL" after the other ones (AB,EIA) and thought that may be an abbreviation.
  I went and looked at mine, and it was a viralload test, which read like this:
Hepatitis C VIRUS RNA QUANT BY PCR
   HCV RNA QUANT,  PCR                 <43
   HCV RNA QUANT,  PCR                 <1.63T
  The first Hep C test I had wasn't an Antibody test, it was a Quantitative one, like the one above.
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Avatar_f_tn
   I was thinking the first one was a false positive, considering your personal history, and the Non-Reactive one looks correct. One more test to be accurate, but this is looking good :)
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Avatar_m_tn
Stdtestexpress.com told me the first one was an antibody test. My brother is a doctor and he thought the second was an antibody test as well, hence the AB initials. I'm not sure though. It's all very confusing. Since the secod one was nonreactive, I'm hoping that points to a false positive on the first. I have an appt to speak with a doctor from stdtestexpress in the morning, which will hopefully clear up some confusion.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for your support. I appreciate the encouragement a great deal.
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1747881_tn?1358189534
They are both HCV antibody test, and yes you clearly have 2 different results, I won't speculate on which one is correct, I would suggest some more testing, either more antibody testing or skip that and go straight to a HCV RNA by PCR which picks up on the virus not the antibodies.
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1747881_tn?1358189534
Hepatitis C
Value: >11.0
Range: 0.0-0.9
Result: Positive


"I was thinking the first one was a false positive,"

I am interested on how you come to that conclusion, the results look exactly like the one's I received when I was diagnosed
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi hpguy:  I was thinking, between the two AB tests, one positive,and the 2nd one negative, that the negative one would be more likely to be accurate, because the OP has stated that he hasn't ever been ion one of the 'high risk" categories, listed by the CDC.
  Living in the Bay Area, I do know at least 60 people who have contracted Hep C  (that is how crowded our Support Group gets sometimes, usually at least 40 of us in there), and also, I have had two ex-boyfriends with it, and my best-friend has it, and my husband just finished his Tx~
   All of these people have been in one of those high-risk groups, and I have
never met a person who had Hep C, who wasn't in one of those risk-groups.
Hep C is just not spread casually, judging from the stats
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Avatar_m_tn
I would suggest some more testing,
go straight to a HCV RNA by PCR which picks up on the virus not the antibodies.
-----------------------------
This is the definitive method to ascertain infection with HCV..and good advice by hrsepwrguy above

best ..
Will
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766573_tn?1365170066
I agree with what has been said and I second what i said in my original post"

The thing is on the panels you describe what is normally tested is the presence of the Hepatitis C Antibody. Many people clear the antibody on their own many go on to develop the actual virus. Based on what you have said so far and not really knowing when you were possibly exposed I would have the HCV PCR.

You cannot go by the antibody. That only means you have been exposed to the virus. The PCR determines actual presence of the virus in your blood. The next step is to have the Hepatitis C PCR. Until that time you might worry needlessly.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for all the advice. The doctor ordered another test so I should hear back tomorrow. It's been very confusing but comforting to have some support on this forum. Thank you all for your help so far. I'll keep my thread updated with more info once I receive it.
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317787_tn?1373214989
I hope that  you don't have it and that we can congratulate you in a day or two,
I think it would be a good idea for you to look into ways it can be transmitted.  The 3 ways you mentioned are just a few of the ways it can be transmitted.
There are other rare ways, while rare, through birth, using another persons toothbrush or razor, snorting anything through a straw with another person, microscopic particles of blood are transmitted to mouth and nose that way.

A person I knew got meningitis from snorting something through a dollar bill.  

Take care, good luck
Dee
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317787_tn?1373214989
p.s. smart to do two tests.  I received a false negative back in the 90's.  I wish I had been tested again
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Avatar_m_tn
Got my results back today and they were negative. My primary care physician said there is no need for further tests and that the results were conclusive. Thank you all for your support and kind words. I will keep your well-being in my thoughts and prayers. God bless.
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Avatar_f_tn
*fist bump :)
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