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Avatar universal

Concerned; confused, please advise

Currently unemployed, I decided to donate plasma at a plasma center to make alittle money and do something right to help others.  When I returned ten days later, they told me I tested positive for Hepititis C.  I was shocked to say the least.....they told me I need to see my doctor so he could do further testing but they would not give me copies of results or even send my doctors copies of their results.  She also didnt know what lab they used; only that they checked it twice and it came back positive both times.  I am a divorced female for 16 years now and date very little (3 men in the last 3 years and all were one time or very brief). I am a very healthy active person who exercises regularly and eats a well balanced diet (w the exception of a few doritos/chips now and then :) and NO symptoms whatsoever of HCV.

Also, I am currently taking a Rx called Lamisil for a toe fungus (that can elevate the enzyme levels of the liver) and also Buspar for anxiety.  Could these medicines have a role in throwing off the tests giving a false positive??? twice???

Now on the other hand, my ex-husband of 16 years now was diagnosed w HCV about 5 years ago.  (I would guess from all his tattoos hes gotten thru the years during and after we split).  His parents let me know this when they heard about it 5 years ago.  And last i heard he is doing fine and living a normal life and takes no medication at all and is remarried for ten years now and I havent spoken to or seen him for 16 years.  If I am retested and positive for HCV,  could I have gotten this from him???  This is all so confusing and scary becuz I live a relatively normal healthy happy life and date very little.  Is this active, acute, or chronic?  I just have no idea where I could have gotten this recently.    

All I can hope for is this is a false positive or maybe learn that it was such a small exposure from my ex that it is in remission??? Or the results were skewed due to the medicine I am taking?  Please write me back with some GOOD news for a change.  Thank you :)    
30 Responses
Avatar universal
I will try to answer some of your questions.
Some people are able to treat for 24 weeks and some people have to treat for 48 weeks.  These decisions are made based on the stage of liver fibrosis as well as the response to treatment.  For example, if the patient has little damage/no damage, and/or if the patient has an early rapid response to treatment, he/she may be able to treat for only 24 weeks.  These are decisions that the doctor makes based on the information gained from performing a liver biopsy.
There are 4 stages of liver fibrosis ranging from no damage/little damage to decompensated Cirrhosis/End Stage Liver Disease.  
The liver can repair itself if the Hep C virus and other damaging toxins are gone, but only up until the patient has moved into the stage of Cirrhosis.  After reaching that stage, I believe that the liver is less likely to repair itself, and of course if the Hep C virus is still present (or other damaging toxins), the damage will progress.
Researchers and drug companies are working on "a cure".  Current treatments that became available last year, known as "triple therapies", improved success rates significantly.  Unfortunately there is still a group of difficult to treat patients who have not been able to clear the Hep C virus even on these new treatments.  We hear that there will be even better treatments available, hopefully in the nest 2-5 years, that will improve the rate of SVR ("sustained viral response"), or "cure", even more, especially for these difficult to treat patients.
Most patients with Hep C make decisions about treatment with their doctor's advice.  If the patient has little/no liver damage, a gastroenterologist or a primary care doctor experienced in Hep C treatment might advise and treat.  If the patient has a lot of liver damage/Cirrhosis, he/she should be seen by an experienced Hepatologist (liver specialist) to advise and treat.  
What type of treatment is chosen depends on several things:  what genotype of Hep C virus is present, how long ago the individual contracted Hep C, and response to any previous therapies.
If the person has Hep C, Genotype 1 a or 1 b, the current treatments include triple therapy with Incivek (Interferon, Ribavirin, and Incivek) or triple therapy with Victrellis (Interferon, Ribavirin, and Victrellis).  Doctors and patients make decisions between these two based on a variety of factors such as prior experiences with anemia, etc.  For the most part, I think both of the triple therapies are used equally in most practices, with similar success rates.
I hope this answers some of your questions.
Advocate1955
Avatar universal
Hi there..

You say :"Please write me back with some GOOD news for a change. "
----------------------------------------------------------
Well..this site is well known for providing members with accurate information about HCV ,treatment options and the like as well as good support from like afflicted people ,however whether or not you feel what is said is"good news " or not is your interpretation  :)

First congrats on  giving of youself by donating blood. This is also a very frequent mode of people unsuspectingly being told they are positive for HCV

The test they do when giving blood is an  HCV "antibodies " test . If you tested positive then the only way to be certain if you have active HCV infection is to go to your doctor and he/she would do a HCV/RNA by PCR blood test to ascertain whether or not you have active HCV.

The drugs you are taking would not cause you to have a positive antibodies test ,however there is a chance(very slight ) it is a false positive or a somewhat better chance (approx 25%) that you have been exposed to the virus at one time and your own immune system fought it off and then you would test positive for life with the "antibodies.

How you may have been exposed to the virus at this time really is of no consequence ,,it is what you do going forward  that is important.

HCV is a very slow moving disease that usually takes many years and most often many decades to cause any significant liver damage.

There are excellent treatments currently available  efficient in a cure in approx. 75 % of cases(depending on many factors)

So..it is time for you to get the above test I mentioned to see were you are at going forward..

Good luck and welcome to our group.
There are many knowledgeable and helpful people to answer you questions and in the meantime I have linked a site "for the newly diagnosed " you may find interesting

Best .
Will

.http://www.hcvadvocate.org/hepatitis/easyfacts/Easy%20C%20Guide.pdf


148588 tn?1465782409
You were probably tested for antibodies, which means you can not donate blood even if you had HCV in the past and cleared it on your own. The further testing that your doctor needs to do is a viral load test ((PCR) to confirm that you actually have chronic HCV. Lamisil can elevate your ALT/AST readings and isn't particularly good for your liver, but a liver enzyme test is not what a blood bank would do as a screening. HCV is not an STD, so it is extremely unlikely you caught it from your husband. Get the viral load test and take it from there.
Avatar universal
Good to see you desrt..... Hope all is well
Will
2061362 tn?1353283118
See your Dr for further testing as they stated. HCV is blood to blood transmission and is  very rarely sexually transmitted. There has to be special circumstances; first there has to be blood involved as well as an open cut. Rarely happens. It is also rare that you would have gotten it from from your ex due to sex, sharing razors or toothbrushes.

Just because you tested positive does not mean you have HCV either. I believe there are false positives with tests, If that is not correct someone will let you know. Too, some people (I believe about 20%) clear the virus on there own during the acute stage, but would ALWAYS still test positive to the antibodies (which is probably the test you were given). You will need to have a PCR test done to determine if there is live virus in your blood. It is the only way of knowing, SEE YOUR DR to ease your mind and again it is the only way to know for sure.

If you have never used IV drugs (even once or a long time ago) or had a blood transfusion before 1992, or other ways of blood to blood transfer, you may never find out how you got it, IF in fact you do.

Also, it takes a very long time for any symptoms of HCV to occur. I had HCV for 35 years before I started having any symptoms and 2 more years before I realized something was def wrong.

It is confusing and scary as you say, but you do need to find out for sure. Also, keep up the healthy lifestyle, it is going to be particularly important if you are diagnosed.
148588 tn?1465782409
So far so good. :-) Getting a CT scan of my liver in a few weeks since it's been 5 yrs. since my last sonogram, and all they tell me is that I have NAFLD, but not whehter it's improving or progressing. Will post results and a 'life 9.5 yrs. post-tx' thread sometime soon. (sorry to highjack your thread Sunnyside)
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