FYI, this is a loosely moderated patient-to-patient forum; no doctors are available to answer your questions. That said, the popular wisdom (or perhaps medical fact) is that antibodies will always be present at some level, though the titer probably tends to decrease with time. The presence of antibodies does not confer immunity, however. If you are antibody-positive and RNA-negative, you may be one of the fortunate 10-15% who clears the virus spontaneously. If so, congratulations.
If you want to reply further in this discussion thread, click the "Post a Comment" button on the bottom of this page rather than starting a question. Thanks and good luck.
In the famous "Irish women's studies" there were women who did lose antibody and virus over the 22 years of the study.
It was not a common occurance by any means, but it was documented to happened. Even spontaneous remissions occurred in a few (very few) chronically infected individuals.
I hope this helps,
I am so glad to see you explanation. I have been told by my Dr. that I am one of those who fall into the 10-15% who cleared on my own. I have another question, just for clarification. If I am clear, why does she want to keep retesting me? In 6 months, it will be my 3rd retest.
I didn't ask these questions when my husband and I went in to talk to the doctor. I was VERY pleased with the results and my concern was mostly on my insurance issue (this is how it all started). What gets me with the insurance companies is that about 6 years ago or so, the doctors gave me about 10 years to live. I was charged an outrageous amount of money for a $25,000 life insurance policy which is all they would give me without going into the several hundred $$ a month payment. A couple years passed and I was able to raise it to $50,000 and they lowered the premium slightly. I am now at $100,000 and paying $90 a month.
I just got married, just bought a home and I wanted to raise it to $150,000 to cover EVERYTHING if something were to happen. This is when I was told I had HCV and was denied an increase! If I don't have the damn virus in my blood, and I have the antibodies, and I'm suppose to be in this "10-15%" group, is there a chance that the virus may become active? Is this the reasoning the insurance company is denying my increase? I know that you are not an insurance person or a doctor, but you seem to have a better answer or explanation to a question that I cannot find an answer for.
And what gets me the most is that they are denying me for a disease which obviously I have had for QUITE a few years without even knowing it. I have other diseases which are serious and they continue to allow me to raise my insurance knowing all of that....and deny me because of hepc! It seems a little backward to me.
Sorry for the earfull.
The previous comment was for you.
I had the ELISA (sp?) test first to confirm the insurance company's findings and then I had the RIBA test, I guess, to confirm the ELISA test, viral load, RNA, DNA, PMS, CIA, UFO...you name it, I had it tested! Thank you so much for your time and response. It certainly is a strange feeling not knowing what to expect. I know I should have asked my doctor questions, but I just wanted to get the heck out of there before she told me she was joking, changed her mind, was reading somebody else's results... or something like that.
Once again, thank you for your time and response, I really do appreciate it!
antibody tests are much cheaper and more widespread than RNA screens (they are routinely done during a blood donations) so your ins. co's actuarial tables may well be based on antibody data. Of course, with this policy they're losing some customers that have cleared the virus, either spontaneously or via meds. Checking with another company is probably a good idea. A PA who sometimes posts on this site mentioned that some ins cos were willing to grant a policy after five years of undectablede RNA post-meds, so there do seem to be co's willing to base the decision on RNA tests.
How long hcv ab's take to disappear after spontaneous clearance, if they do at all, seems controversial A recent <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=14996190&dopt=Abstract">long term follow up</a> found that most keep their ab's though it's apprently possible to lose them in as little as 6 years.
IHMO losing your hcv abs is as close to a certainty of "cured" as you can get (that or taking immuno-suppressants and still testing VL undectable). But, wouldn't you know it, here too there seem to be (very rare) <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=14984555&dopt=Abstract">exceptions</a>.
Sorry I couldn't respond to your comment on the other post - it was closed.
Yes there is such a thing as occult hepc as there is occult hepb.
In general, for people who have elevated liver enzymes that can't be puzzled out, a PCR for hepc and not an antibody test is a reasonable next step.
well well well glad to see some things never change ..really glad to see the old pros still hanging and helping...you guys are the epitome of support...miss ya all
I would like to thank everyone for the help and advice, I Found it hard to talk about this Virus, I feel Ashamed. I guess I am not alone. This is a Great Site.. Thanks again . Best of luck to ALL of you.
Hey Ken - glad to see you pop in. Hope your detox is going smoothly. I've gotten stuck in a few potholes lately but I'm sure I'll find my way out eventually.