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reactive hepatitis c antibody
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reactive hepatitis c antibody

i was recently tested for hepatitis c antibody an it showed "reactive" with an out of range of 1.22. Non-reactive is < 1.00.  How often do these tests show a false positive?  Does this mean I probably have hepatitis c?
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Avatar_m_tn
You will need to see your doctor and have further testing done to insure you do not have any active replicating Hep C virus.
You have been exposed to the virus so you need to find out with further testing if you were exposed but you cleared it on your own 15-20% of the time people clear it on their own but the other 75-80% of the time they do not so you need another test to see if you have an active viral load and if you do you will need to find out which type (genotype)of virus you have. Please speak to the doctor who did the test and he can test you to see if you are positive.
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Avatar_m_tn
I have seen an article just recently that stated that in some people the antibodies disappear after many years. The article was about HCV and the immune system (which intrigues me for my own personal reasons) and an interesting point was that, though the antibodies may in rare case disappear, CD4 or CD8 cells remain which shows the past virus and imbues an immunity to future infection. I had to pay to view the article but I can probably find it and quote it if you're really interested.
I'm doing well - just muddling through the dreary work of low dose interferon and ribavirin. Thanks for asking Dale.
Mike
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Avatar_n_tn
wonder how often there are fals positives on initial screening?
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Avatar_m_tn
Not often. Mike
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Avatar_m_tn
Analysing the long term protection of these antibodies,
a study performed in a cohort of women accidentally
exposed to the same HCV strain of known
sequence showed that circulating HCV-specific antibodies
were undetectable in many patients 18
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Avatar_n_tn
wonder if the number (122) on the initial screen speaks for the severity of the disease.
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Avatar_m_tn
No, I don't think so. The severity of the disease we patients think of in terms of what shape your liver is in. Viral load - that is the number of virons of hepatitis c circulating in your blood - is meaningful when it comes to the likelihood of clearing the hep with treatment. Genotype is also relevant in this area - some genotypes 1 and 4 for instance are generally thought to be harder to eradicate with treatment than are 3 and 4 but news is always changing our preconceptions so don't believe anything you read for too long. You'd have to have further tests to know this information. Now, you can read the threads here or google "hepatitis c" or be patient and talk with your doctor. Mike
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Avatar_m_tn
My understanding is that your result shows that you have been exposed to hepatitis c sometime in the past. Whether you have active hepatitis c would require more tests. Some people are exposed to the virus and clear it on their own, but the odds of this are small - 15 to 20% of those exposed spontaneously clear the virus without the need for treatment. I think this information is right but I'm no doctor and I could be very wrong. My advice is to speak with you physician. Good luck. Mike
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116701_tn?1210262764
Mike, how have you been doing? My GP had told me that once your system had been exposed to any virus that those particular anti-bodies would always be present in your system. This same doctor didn't want me to treat though. I suppose we are back to opinions - ha. Best to you. Dale
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Avatar_f_tn
you  test reactive for antibodies, which means exposure to hep c only, NOT other viruses.  that first test must be followed by a PCR to determine if the virus left your blood or became chronic.  you might want to test by PCR a few months from now to make sure you are still negative. make sure the PCR test is sensitive down to at least <50iu/ml.  If it is still negative, you have no hcv to worry about.  If it is positive, you need more tests to see how much damage you have endured from hep c. your next step is to see a GI, and get further testing as Mike mentioned. It does not seem as if you understand what was said about testing, so, maybe a trip to janis7hepc.com can explain more.

you can continue asking questions in the threads you already opened, makes it easier to follow the conversation. no need to click on ask a question each time you have one.
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Avatar_f_tn
Means most likely you have hepatitis C but there is a chance (albeit very small) that you could have beat it out of your system.

You need more tests to determine if you do or not and the amount of liver damage that you have sustainned.

Be careful - I never had one symptom and I am already stage 3 and have had it for 25 years and NEVER KNEW.  So it's not really a "how you feel" type thing.

Have the other blood work done.  It's a lucky day when you find out you have it - rather than wait till it's too late.
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Avatar_n_tn
so, let me see if i understand this all.  I can test reactive for antibodies and then further testing can reveal that a person does not have active hepatitis C?  Then nothing is done?
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Avatar_n_tn
can we be tested for t-cell response?...i seem to recall ......something you mentioned previously?? i sure miss my mind.
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Avatar_n_tn
So, the antibodies found when screened to hepatitis c  include all virus's?
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Avatar_m_tn
I don't know the answer to that. I do believe that if T cell reponse (which the way, is not one-dimensional) could be reliably ascertained that still would not provide that answer we're looking for. This subject is so complex that no simple answers exist - no one test or even multiple tests have yet been shown to be conclusive in predicting the reponse to treatment, so far as I can tell. I wish that weren't the case but I do think we're a lot closer now than we've ever been. Mike
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Avatar_n_tn
if addled memory serves-not- you mentioned a lab procedure that centerfuged ,dyed & examine t-cell types and quantitys???..i am 1b stage 2 grade 2 ,starting vl of 7,000,000;4 week pcr vl of 1280;12 week vl  <10....now i am week 41 all liver #'s are good,taking procrit and neupogen  and managing trx meds fairly well(this morning) and the reason i am considering extending is that i have one extra refill left-otherwise i got enuff meds stockpiled to see me to the end of 48 week trx ...how nuts is that? i couldn't access your post about trx length,but will try again...I am very interested in Your opinion on this,did i mention addled??? tho any and all opinions appreeciated-thanxs,tom
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Avatar_m_tn
Here is the link to the last Cinical Care Option article:
<A HREF="http://clinicaloptions.com/Hepatitis/Annual%20Updates/2006%20Annual%20Update/Modules/Sulkowski/Pages/Page%201.aspx/">Customizing HCV Therapy With Current Agents: Optimizing Patient Outcomes</A>

My opinion is that to treat at least 36 weeks after undetectable per very sensitive testing for type 1s. That's nothing new. If your blood chemistry, with or without rescue drugs, is okay I'd extend treatment. Caould you get by with a shorter duration? I guess you could but I wouldn't fool around if I were you.
I can't find anything I've saved regarding T cell isolation and analysis. I'll look a little more later.
Mike
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Avatar_n_tn
Mike, i think the test i was disremembering was description of your most recent biopsy? but i'm by no means sure...i am interested in upping my SVR %...any studys show increased chances w/ little longer trx?? it does seem logical and given my high starting VL,length of desease(25+ yrs) and weight(217 lbs) i have some  nagging fears...about liver lurking bugs!
Friole, yu got it right:i am so ready to finish!!!!! my docs think i am doing great and i worry about lasting sx's from trx meds.....they're kikin my butt as i speak,but i do want to make a well informed decision.........
Can i get some better data from an end of trx biopsy? would anyone consent to same?What kinda crazy am I?...



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Avatar_n_tn
Tom -- if you were clear at week 12 with a sensitivity of 10, I would think the standard 48 would be enough.  - that gives you 36 clear.  We get a little paranoid near the end, don't we?  I could have probably done 48 too but chose 56 ONLY becuse I was not clear with the highly sensitive test. Better safe thatn sorry.

Who knows for sure?  I know you are ready to get off tx and get on with life just like me

kathy
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm really confused after reading all this. And after the results from my last blood test. In march I went into ER because I was sick and they said I had tested positive for Hep C antibodies. I then went to a specialist and he confirmed hep c virus... saying my viral load was in the medium area. So they went to do the second blood test for genotype and such... and my liver levels were better.. but my viral load was messed up. So they had me do another test "no cost" thinking it might be lab error. The results came back the same... next to nothing or viral load. They couldn't even find enough virus to test for genotype. The doctor wants me to go back in June and a few more times after. He said if it stays the same... I can be cleared of hep c.


What are the chances the first test that confirmed was an error? Or that my body cleared the virus?
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