I recently tested positive for Hep C antibodies and my number was 24.3. The doctor was no specialist in Hepatitis and didn't know what to say. The test said since it was above 8.0 then it's probable that I have Hepatitis C. I haven't taken the qualitative RIBA test yet but am a bit scared. I've read you can have antibodies but not have the disease but what about a level of 24.3? Is that too high a number to put me in the category of people who were exposed but have fought off the disease? Or is that a low number to have?
You then get a PCR (Quantative)
and you get a genotyping.
From there you determine if you had HEP C -- and cleared it --- and only have the antibodies....
OR --- you determine your VIRAL load.
If you have a viral load -- they should send you for a biopsy or a fibroscan.
Some doctors won't even bother to do that ---- and will ask you to treat right away...
They haven't taken the TX themselves - So it's easy to push pharmaceuticals on folks...
Then you have to make a decision if you need to Treat (TX) or if you don't - based on your knowledge and your belief.
Google Janis and Friends ---- go to that site and read up on HCV -- then come here and read through the forum ---- go through at least the last 12 pages in both the Hepatitis C and the Hepatitis Social group.
Then you'll kind of have at least a better idea of what you're up against.
Right now you are in the HURRY UP AND WAIT phase --- it's kind of scary and you'll feel like you've been handed a death sentence.
But don't freak out - it's normal to go through the stages of grief... and it's normal to be kind of scared.
Remember a lot of people live quite comfortably with HCV - some don't get very much damage.
So - get informed read up --- and much luck to you.
Welcome to the MedHelp Hep forum - there are a lot of really really REEEEAAALLLY good folks on here - who've been there - done that... And you'll be able to learn a lot from them.
Thanks for your words of encouragement. I guess it's not time to freak out until I get the other tests to confirm whether or not I have HCV. I decided to take another test for the antibodies first in case the first one was a mistake and before spending hundreds of dollars on the qualitative test.
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