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Testing question - please read and answer
I tested negative / non-reactive for Hep B and Hep C three and a half months after a possible exposure to the virus.  Do I need to be re-tested?  I ask this due to the persistent "full feeling" under my ribs, on the right side of my body.  Also, do people often test negative AFTER showing symptoms for as long as I have been showing them?  I find it hard to believe that a person can have pain in the liver area and bowel problems for three and a half months and test negative if they have the disease.  It just stands to reason that a normally healthy person would test positive over that period of time if they had symptoms.
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My wifeI found out last week that she is supposed to be tested every 3 months because she carries the Hep B virus.  No doctor ever told her that - We learned it at a seminar on Hep C.  Supposedly you have to test every 2-3 months to get a good reading because it can be there one time and not the other.  She has a doctors appt on 9-23-09 to get the blood work started.  
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If I were a carrier, than I would have tested positive for the disease.  I tested negative.  Would anyone else care to comment?  How long should a person wait to test, after an exposure.  Is three and a half months long enough?
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Most physicians suggest testing at 6 months(24 weeks) past the exposure. The vast majority of healthy patients will seroconvert by 12 weeks.
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Thanks for your input.  I appreciate you taking the time to reply.  One more question.  Is it common for a person to have symptoms and still test negative for the disease, even after three and a half months.  It just seems to me that, if a person had an infection and had symptoms, they would test positive after three and a half months.  I have not had any jaundice or dark urine, but I have had diarrhea and pain in the right upper quadrant over a three and a half month period.  Those are the only symptoms that I have had.  Thoughts?
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This was the reply from the HIV expert’s forum regarding exposure to that virus nearly two months ago; the same goes for this incidence of HCV:



by txbuck , Jul 22, 2009 09:57PM
To: Dr. H
One follow up and then I will leave you alone.  Do you know of anyone who has tested positive after testing negative for 7 weeks?  Understanding that the person is tested with modern testing methods and has otherwise normal health.  For my piece of mind, please answer.

by Edward W Hook, MD  , Jul 23, 2009 12:05AM
Your question has nocontext.  I repeat, you are not at risk.  This ends this thread.  There will be no further answers. EWH




You have left nearly 40 obsessive posts over this exposure incident; it appears you have tested negative, now it’s time to move on. If you continue to have issues, you should consult a mental health expert to help manage your guilt/OCD.

Bill
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I didn't know that you have repeatedly asked these questions. I would guess that your pain might be psychosomatic. It is painful to live with these kinds of fears. Please get some help as Bill suggests.
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I believe that JennyPenny's original post was correct. If you test negative it is A because you are not infected or B your viral load was too low to be detected with the testing method that was employed. Sensitivitey to the virus varies by testing method. Yes you might be infected at 3-1/2 months after exposure and return a negative. If the virus is undectable in your blood, then return for another evaluation in six months. If it is still undected then you can be very confident that the exposure you had was of no consequence. That is the standard used for hep C patients who return a result of "undetected" at the end of treatment. They return in six months for a test. If they are still "undetected" they are considered to be clear of the virus. In the mean time don't worry. Hepatitis is a VERY slow acting infection and you can easily live out the remainder of your natural life without experiencing a single effect from it. If you're "undetected" now and you truly are infected, just not yet detectable, you will probably last another 25 years minimum before any action would be required. Live for today. Cross the river if and when you arrive at it's shore. Quit obsessing about it. Obsess about something like the armed conflicts taking place worldwide, the economy, the environment ........something else.
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