I've been reading more about HCV and apparently they are trying to eliminate RIBA tests to confirm patients with Hep C antibodies if their signal to cut off ratio is above 8,0 the the secondary tests are unnecessary because it is over 90% likely you have HCV. The RIBA test is expensive...especially if you don't have good health insurance. I have a signal to cut off ration = to 24.3. Does anyone know if this is a confirmation of the disease? Is it possible I have fought off the disease and have antibodies left or is that impossible with such a high number? I can't find anything on the net about it other than if it is >8.0 then you have HCV.
All my liver functioning came out in good condition...I have never used IV drugs, and I'm not at high risk for having HCV.
Please if any of you know about the signal to cut off ratios please let me know.
I don't much about the signal to cutoff ratio you mention. But as far your questions:
"I have a signal to cut off ration = to 24.3. Does anyone know if this is a confirmation of the disease?"
If you're asking if testing positive for HCV antibodies alone confirms you are actively infected with HCV, the answer to that question is NO. The significant, testable presence of HCV antibodies only means you have at one time or another been exposed to HCV. If you were exposed to HCV, that means one of two things: (1) you later became chronically (permanently) infected with HCV (and remain so), or (2) you were acutely infected with HCV shortly after being initially exposed, but your body successfully fought off the infection, thereby "curing" you.
"Is it possible I have fought off the disease and have antibodies left or is that impossible with such a high number?"
Yes it is possible, although statistically speaking most people who are exposed to HCV go on to become chronically infected. After testing positive for HCV antibodies, you must be tested using a sensitive HCV RNA PCR test. I'd recommend a test sensitivity of at least 10 IU/ml, and preferably use the most sensitive test available which currently is 2 IU/ml. The PCR test tests for the actual virus itself. The antibody test only detects the byproduct of a previous or active infection, so it's ambiguous. The PCR test is not ambiguous, other than its limit of sensitivity - if it detects the virus in your bloodstream, then you have an active infection. And as far as the level of antibodies, you can have successfully cleared the virus on your own and have very high HCV antibody levels. Typically your body retains antibodies for many years (and sometimes for life) from any virus (or vaccination) it has been exposed to in the past, and this is certainly true for the HCV virus as well. What usually happens with those who have been exposed to HCV, but naturally cleared on their own, is that their antibody levels are high initially after first defeating the virus (as high or even higher than someone who is chronically infected). Then, over the years antibody levels tend to slowly decline. After a few decades some people lose their antibodies altogether, at least when tested with current tests which only have a certain level of sensitivity. But not all do, some retain at least some level of measurable HCV antibodies for decades and decades after their intial exposure, which of course for some means for life.
Bottomline is that if you do test positive (even marginally so) for HCV antibodies, then you need to be tested for the virus itself using a PCR test (if you haven't already). Best of luck to you.
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