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What exactly is hep c "reactive" mean?
I have been in the healthcare field for quite some time as a stna but just recently became a lpn and I have given blood so many times and nothing was ever found to be abnormal.  I had a needle stick the other night at work and had to have my blood drawn to be checked for hep and hiv.  Today my boss calls me and says I am reactive for hep c!!!!!  This just blows my mind and is so  scary! I dont understand and did get an appointment at my dr for tomorrow morning.....Does this mean i have hepatitis C????
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Hi there..It sounds like you have tested positive(reactive ) for the  Hepc Anitibodies. Now you will need follow up testing  either by the Riba(recombinant immunoblot assay) or the HCV RNA PCR to ascertain whether or not you have active infection.

It may mean a false positive or that you had been exposed  to the virus and have cleared it by your own immune system or  as I mentioned have active HCV

.http://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/hepatitis-c/tab/test


Your doctor should run one of these two tests when you see him tommorow.

Welcome to the group .there are lots of good folks here to answer any questions you may have..
Will
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87972 tn?1322664839
A ‘reactive’ HCV antibody test could mean you were exposed to the HCV virus at some point in the past. However, there is a significant chance this was a false positive test. Additionally, about 20% of patients who are indeed exposed will clear the virus with their own immune response in the acute phase (initial six months) of infection.

As Will said, additional confirmation will be required to rule out active, RNA infection.

Good luck; let us know what you discover,

--Bill
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419309 tn?1326506891
It's a lab result that's "reactive"... doesn't mean you have to be immediately "reactive" as well!  Take a deep breath... exhale... don't panic.  Needle stick situations can be very anxiety-inducing, but it's not the end of the world... take things one step at a time... you didn't mention whether you knew for fact if the patient was viral-positive, but remember that hcv & hiv testing is standard procedure, and does not mean the patient you encountered necessarily has either, testing is really precautionary.

Will and Bill are correct in that a 'reactive' Ab test is not conclusive of anything... means you should test again, certainly, but does not mean you have hep c.  Certainly good that your HIV test did not raise concerns, but at this juncture you should not jump to conclusions.  Do follow up with your employer and health provider to do further testing.  Hope that helps, and good luck. ~eureka



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HELP.....I was given a hepatitis screening test a prick in the finger ...results came back "REACTIVE" HCV antibodies were found in my blood. The person that took my test told me "not a thing" I'm really stressing out.. I feel like I've just been given a death sentence..She took a blood test and said she would call me within 2 weeks with that result. What's the next step??...what the best thing that happen? and what's the worst that can happen?? I've been very fatigued and I've been having a lot of pain in my muscles and joints and headaches and I'm always sweating profusely...what symptoms should I be looking for? I'm 62 years old. The only health care I have is Med i cal the doctor I have its not a good doctor patient relationship..she doesn't listen to me..I been trying to tell her for years that something is wrong and she just shrugs her shoulders at as to imply "who knows" its at a county clinic and I simply cant find another doctor I really just need to know what my next steps should be  and how serious this is...I'm all by myself with no family or support system...some medical advice would greatly be appreciated..thank You
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Hi and welcome to the Forum.  You responded to a very old thread, and should have selected the green 'Post a Question' button at the top to get more attention to your question.  However, no big deal.

First: You had the Antibody test and are 'Reactive'.  That just means that you have been exposed to Hep C.  She is right, that this is nothing to get excited about at this stage.  The Antibody test merely tells you that you have been exposed.

She also did the correct thing in drawing blood, and telling you she would give you a call in about 2 weeks and the RNA PCR (Quant) test takes about that long to be processed and get the results back to your doctor.

Second:  What symptoms should you look for?  Generally, none.  I had Hep C for 40+ years, and had progressed to Fibrosis stage 3, the one before Cirrhosis, and had no symptoms, except that, like you, I was tired.  

Third:  QUIT STRESSING!  Not meaning to shout, but really want to get your attention.  Take a deep breath, exhale, and relax.  

At best, you come back negative for the RNA PCR test, which means that your body dealt with the virus itself.  Once you have antibodies, you will always test positive for them, but that, in itself, does not mean you have the virus.  The RNA PCR test is the definitive test of do you have the virus or not.

At worst, you have the virus.  NO, IT IS NOT A DEATH SENTENCE! It can be treated, and reach Sustained Viral Response (Hep C Speak for cured), and there are several meds available right now to treat the different genotypes (Gt or gt) and reach SVR, usually, in12 weeks, but in the case of some of us, 24 weeks.  

IF you get a positive result on the RNA PCR test, it will also give a viral load [which only is useful in showing  a) that you have the virus and b) if it responding to treatment IF you have the virus and treat it], and a genotype.

At that point, asked your Doctor to refer you to a GOOD hematologist, Infectious Disease Specialist or Gastroenterologist, who is very conversant with Hep C, and has lots of knowledge and experience in treating it. If you believe that won't work because of the communication problem, then you find one, either by asking around in you area, or calling the nearest liver transplant center and seeing what Drs they recommend or are associated with them.  If you are close enough to a Transplant Center to go to the Drs there, you will have excellent care.

NO,  I AM NOT SAYING YOU WILL NEED A TRANSPLANT!  That is just where one finds the foremost hepatologists with the most experience and knowledge, available.

I have probably given you way more information than you wanted - or can absorb at one sitting - but am trying to cover all bases.

Finally, many of us on this site, had or have Hep C for 30, 35, 40, or more years and and doing well.  I had it, as I said 40+ years, when I began treatment last year, for 6 months.  I am now SVR (see above) for more than 9 months.  I am typical of many on the site.  But, with these new medications, and the new knowledge coming along, so many more are reaching SVR on the first treatment.  This was my 2nd.  The interferon treatment (tx) in 1994/95 did not work for me.  We have people on here who have treated 3, 4, 5 or more times.  I am not saying this to scare you, only to show that this is not the end of the world, as the information and meds are evolving, and improving constantly.

Please, really, relax and wait for the results of the RNA PCR test and go from there.  

Be sure and tell us the results and, IF you have Hep C, you will find this is an excellent community for great, knowledgeable, answer, guidance, suggestions, caring and support.

Oh, one last piece of advice.  If you have not been in the habit of doing so, start asking for, and KEEPING a copy of ALL of you blood work / lab tests.  This is a real benefit, for getting answers and for comparing results from test to test.

Do not hesitate to ask any questions you have, but, again, I suggest you go to the top to the green 'Post a Question' button, where more members will notice it.

Good luck,

Blessings,

Pat
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