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Avatar universal

Is HIV test window delayed if possible exposure to Hep C as well

On September 2, 2011 I received a tattoo.  I watched artist open a new needle and fill a single use ink cup.  The shop was clean and the artist had his state certification posted as well as blood born pathogen certificate.  Even so afterwards I got worried about HIV and Hep C.  I tested at 10 weeks, 3 months and 6 months for HIV and all were negative.

My HCV test was non reactive at 10 weeks but then REACTIVE at 6 months?  For some recall reason RIBA test was not available to confirm so an HCV RNA PCR test was done with results negative and non detected.

1. Could the fact I might have gotten HCV effect my HIV test result if I was infected simultaneously ... Is my 6 month HIV test conclusive irregardless of the HCV?
2. Why did the HCV antibody test change from negative to positive?
3. Do I have Hep C?  Or could the second antibody test be a false positive?

I have no other risk factors (in a 20 year marriage with only sex partner I have ever had), no drug use, etc
4. Dr. wants to retest HCV RNA PCR in six months and says don't worry but I'm worried
7 Responses
239123 tn?1267651214
Welcome to the forum and thanks for your question.

First, you describe a low risk event; testing for HIV or viral hepatitis is not recommended simply because someone gets a tattoo.  Although acquiring blood borne infections was once a problem at some tattoo parlors, for the past 20-30 years these establishments have been more tightly regulated in all states and to my knowledge there have been few if any such infections reported in the US for many years.

To your specific questions:

1) If you have HCV, it had no effect on the reliabilty of your HIV test.  The thread immediately before yours, asked the same question.  Take a look:  http://www.medhelp.org/posts/HIV-Prevention/Delayed-Seroconversion/show/1709580

2-4) Unfortunately, I can't help in interpreting your HCV test results.  Contrary to popular beliefs, HCV is not considered an STD.  Therefore, we don't regularly test for it in my STD clinic and I have little experience with the current testing methods and interpretation of the tests.  From what I know, however, your tests do not indicate you caught HCV during the tattoo; if the second test is accurate, it probably resulted from some other, more recent exposure.  I would recommend you follow your doctor's advice about it; or if you want a second opinion, ask for referral to an infectious diseases or gastroenterology/liver diease sepecialist.

Here is another thread that discusses sexual transmission of HCV, in case you are interested:  http://www.medhelp.org/posts/HIV-Prevention/hcv-and-hiv/show/1324890

Best wishes--  HHH, MD
Avatar universal
Thank you for your help ... glad to hear my HIV test in conclusive
Avatar universal
Based on my tests results, I do not have HIV?  And I need no farther testing for HIV?
239123 tn?1267651214
Avatar universal
I would like to read the first link you sent but cannot seem to access it ... Could you help me out
Avatar universal
I would also like to access the "blog" style answer you wrote concerning this topic but need the link to that as well
239123 tn?1267651214
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