19542799 tn?1479691147

HCV RNA quantitative &qualitative tests

Hello everyone.. I got pregnant with my husband in May, 2016 .I got prenatal check up in June where everything came back good along with negative antibody screen for Hep C . Then they again tested me for all tests in Nov .at that time, it came back with reactive antibody for hep C .plz keep in mind that we didn't have a single sex after me getting pregnant in May 2016 .Then I got tested for HCV RNA and it came back not detected in Nov 2016 .then I gave birth to my baby in January and I again asked my Dr for Hep C testing because I couldn't believe that I've been exposed to it ever in my pregnancy. (First screen test was negative).
So now, hep c antibody again came back reactive and today I am going for HCV RNA both quantitative & qualitative tests.
My questions are:
1.What are the chances of HCV RNA tests come back positive since it was negative in Nov last year.
2.since I've zero risk factors for getting it in my whole life rather than my pregnancy, does it mean I get it from my husband. (He was also negative until 2015 as he donated blood and he doesn't know his current status ).
3.should I get my baby checked too .he's a boy 2 months old now .
3 Responses
683231 tn?1467323017
It appears that at some time in your life you may have been exposed to the hep c virus so your body has banufactured antibodies to fight the virus. You may have even had hep c but you were one of the 25% of people fortunate enough to beat the virus on your own. That you don't have hep c is evidenced by your not detected test for the hep c virus itself the HCV RNA by PCR test.

Hep c is not considered by the CDC to be a sexually transmitted illness although there have been a few cases mostly for those who have multiple sexual partners, engage in rough sex practices or in the presence of HIV. In fact the CDC does not suggest that long term monogamous couple will need to use barker protection as sexual transmission in such couples is practically non existent. There are many who have hep c while their spouse does not.

Hep c is a blood borne virus that requires blood to blood contact to be transmitted.

As to why you are testing positive for antibodies to hep c is anyone's guess there are a small percentage of people who are or were infected with hep with no idea how they became infected. This may be your situation or a possible rare false positive. But as you have tested positive for antibodies a couple of times you will likely always test positive for antibodies for the remainder of your life. Antibodies are not the virus that are made by your body in response to coming into contact with the hep c virus. Hep c antibodies are a part of your own immune system much like if you either had measles or were vaccinated against measles you have antibodies to the measels virus in your blood.  

So in my thinking any additional testing for hep c antibodies are a wasted effort as the likely result is know you will test positive for hep c antibodies. The only way to know if you are currently infected is to have the test for the virus the HCV RNA test. But if you haven't had any risk behaviors you likely will never test positive on an HCV RNA test.

As for your child if you do test not detected on the HCV RNA test you have no virus to transmit. Even if somehow you do test detected for the hep c virus there is only about a 5% chance of transmission to your unborn child during birth.

But if you do test positive on the HCV RNA test other than getting treated to cure your hep c you would want to consider having your child tested due to the low risk of transmission during birth. But that testing would only be needed if you are currently infected with hep c and not nearly positive for antibodies.

In answer to your specific questions:

1.What are the chances of HCV RNA tests come back positive since it was negative in Nov last year.

Hard to say but I anticipate if you had no risk of blood to blood contact I would be very surprised if you test positive for the hep c virus having tested not detected in the recent past.

2.since I've zero risk factors for getting it in my whole life rather than my pregnancy, does it mean I get it from my husband. (He was also negative until 2015 as he donated blood and he doesn't know his current status ).

As above hep c is not considered to be sexually transmitted for long term monogamous couples. It is a blood borne virus requiring blood to blood contact. You will likely never know why you test positive for hep c antibodies.

3.should I get my baby checked too. he's a boy 2 months old now.

Only if you test positive on the HCV RNA test showing you are currently infected with hep c.

I hope that helps you to understand better what is going on best of luck and congratulations on your new baby.
Thank you so much for detailed information . I'm just back from laboratory, they drew blood both for quantitative & qualitative tests. Now I'm so worried about the results as I was 100 % sure that previous screen test was false positive but it's still reactive means I've been really exposed to disease somehow :( .now I'm freaking out reading that viral load can fluctuate low and high so it depends on the time of testing if load was high or low .
I don't even have a good insurance which will invest in me if God forbids ,it come back positive then how I'll get latest medication. I'm also thinking about my baby as he's being breastfed if medication effects would transmit to him through feedings .
It seems so much to handle as we lost our 6 year old daughter to leukaemia in 2015 .she was our only child then. Now this hep C issues are too much to cope with . I'm sorry for venting here but this is 24/7 on my mind .
I'll let you know about the results once they are ready. Plz remember me in your prayers.
Thanks for wishing for baby too.. :)
Yes viral load can fluctuate but not really to below detectable levels. I am going with the assumption you may have been exposed but are not currently infected.

If that is correct you will test positive for hepatitis C antibodies for the rest of your life. Having hep c antibodies is not the same as being infected or infectious. If you do not test positive on the HCV RNA test you do not have hepatitis C and thus nothing to transmit

Also as I said hep c is blood borne when it is transmitted to a child it is transmitted by child birth. Even in child birth the risk is only 5%.

Please try not to borrow fear and worrying from a tomorrow that may never come. You tested not detected before for the virus. There is no reason to think you will test any differently this time.

Don't think about how you can get treatment right now I am betting you do not have hep c and neither does your child.

So sorry to hear about the loss of your child from leukemia. This is not the same situation hep c takes many years to decades  to cause liver damage if ever. Only about 20% of patients will develop liver damage after 20 years of infection. You have lots of time to sort all this out if you do have hep c. But my gut feeling is you will be fine.

Good luck to you and your family
19542799 tn?1479691147
Thanks again for such a positive insight .. I pray that what you are assuming about being non detected for current disease, become reality..
It's so overwoverwhelming for me to being exposed to it unknowingly.. my second guess of getting it by not properly sterilized instruments they used during first prenatal testing (pap smear).. I wish I could know the real source. Healthcare should be sued if it's really the case .
When I went there for my blood drwa for HCV RNA tests ..she only filled one vial and sent me home .when after five days ,I called laboratory about results ,they told me blood wasn't enough to do testing so you come again . And no one bothered to call me to let me know they need more blood until I call myself. And they drew four vials.
I really appreciate your concern for so many ppl like us giving them information and also encouragement. Your reply really brought my anxiety levels down for upcoming results. Thank you for this .
Yeah ,it's not same as a cancer ,but being through it for my daughter seeing her in pain n begging me to do something to give her relief .. is already so much to deal with rest of my life let alone more issues..
For last couple of weeks ,I find myself drenching in cold sweats upon waking up so much so that most of my clothing would be literally wet and sweat running through my skin like water .it was never like that before . I'm so messed up emotionally too . I wish I could show you my daughter's picture. She was SO precious, so loving and caring .. so full of life .. Life is already very hard without her .
Last words on her lips when she left this earth in front of my eyes were Mama Mama ..I would wonder for the rest of my life what she was going to say and couldn't complete her sentence.. oh my baby.. miss you so so much.
I sent you a personal message
19542799 tn?1479691147
Thank you.. replied.
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Hepatitis C Community

Top Hepatitis Answerers
317787 tn?1473358451
683231 tn?1467323017
Auburn, WA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Answer a few simple questions about your Hep C treatment journey.

Those who qualify may receive up to $100 for their time.
Explore More In Our Hep C Learning Center
image description
Learn about this treatable virus.
image description
Getting tested for this viral infection.
image description
3 key steps to getting on treatment.
image description
4 steps to getting on therapy.
image description
What you need to know about Hep C drugs.
image description
How the drugs might affect you.
image description
These tips may up your chances of a cure.
Popular Resources
For people with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), the COVID-19 pandemic can be particularly challenging.
A list of national and international resources and hotlines to help connect you to needed health and medical services.
Here’s how your baby’s growing in your body each week.
These common ADD/ADHD myths could already be hurting your child
This article will tell you more about strength training at home, giving you some options that require little to no equipment.
In You Can Prevent a Stroke, Dr. Joshua Yamamoto and Dr. Kristin Thomas help us understand what we can do to prevent a stroke.