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Once you test positive for the hep c antibody will you ALWAYS test positive?

I am a nurse on a psych unit. I have just had a positive hep c test. I have NO idea how I got this because the only needle stick I have had was seven years ago and everything was negative for me at all follow ups (even though the pt was hep c positive.  I am devastated waiting for my viral load test. My husband is being a jerk and is not at all supportive.

Question 1: has anyone found they had hep c from work without a blood exposure? MANY of my patients are hep c pos
Question 2: Once you test positive for the antibody, will you ALWAYS test positive?
Question 3: I am sure my insurance wont cover Harvoni , has anyone found assistance? I cant prove I got this from my job but I am CERTAIN I did!!! I don't use drugs and NEVER have, nor has my husband and have never had a blood transfusion- I feel like my employer should pay for my drugs but I am sure they wont. I am thinking of suing- any advice??
Thanks
5 Responses
19542799 tn?1479691147
It could be false positive antibody screen test .. I also had suddenly  positive antibody for hep C .
3 Comments
thanks I may try test to rule out false positive
thanks I may try test to rule out false positive
The only way to know if you are infected is to have the HCV RNA by PCR test. You could only have a positive hep c antibody test but not have a hep c infection.
19542799 tn?1479691147
It could be false positive antibody screen test .. I also had suddenly  positive antibody for hep C .
683231 tn?1467323017
Yes you will always and forever test positive for antibodies they are made by your body in an attempt to fight the hep c virus. Same as having measles antibodies if you either had the measles or were immunized against the measles you have measles antibodies. The key difference is hepc antibodies are not effective in combating the hep c virus like measles antibodies are.

If you do have a current infection there are many ways to obtain treatment but don't worry about that unless you need to.
3 Comments
thanks I figured as much
so how do you know if someone currently has active Hep C or had it in the past and was treated? Go by their liver enzymes? If normal then no active Hep C??
ronbramsom you would do better to post a new question as this post is from March 2017.

How to know if someone who text positive for Hepatitis C antibodies is to next take the HCV RNA by PCR test that checks for the presence of the actual hep c virus in their blood stream. The result will report the number of copies of virus circulating in each milliliter of blood in their blood stream. This is the only way to know if someone is currently infected. Not everyone infected with hep c will have elevated liver enzymes and not everyone with elevated liver enzymes has hep c even if they test positive for hep c antibodies.

If someone tests positive for the virus there are now recently approved meds that boast very high cure rates above 98% that for most people will eradicate the hep c virus from their blood. These new treatments could be as simple as one pill a day for 12 or even as few as 8 weeks and no more hep c.

Hep c is not easily contracted. From the CDC Hep C FAQ for the general public:

“ How is hepatitis C spread?
Hepatitis C is usually spread when blood from a person infected with the hepatitis C virus enters the body of someone who is not infected. Today, most people become infected with the hepatitis C virus by sharing needles or other equipment to prepare or inject drugs. Before 1992, hepatitis C was also commonly spread through blood transfusions and organ transplants. After that, widespread screening of the blood supply in the United States virtually eliminated this source of infection.

People can become infected with the hepatitis C virus during such activities as:

Sharing needles, syringes, or other equipment to prepare or inject drugs
Needlestick injuries in health care settings
Being born to a mother who has hepatitis C
Less commonly, a person can also get hepatitis C virus through

Sharing personal care items that may have come in contact with another person’s blood, such as razors or toothbrushes
Having sexual contact with a person infected with the hepatitis C virus
Getting a tattoo or body piercing in an unregulated setting
Hepatitis C virus is not spread by sharing eating utensils, breastfeeding, hugging, kissing, holding hands, coughing, or sneezing. It is also not spread through food or water.”

“ Can hepatitis C virus be spread through sexual contact?
Yes, but the risk of transmission from sexual contact is believed to be low. The risk increases for people who have multiple sex partners, have a sexually transmitted disease, engage in rough sex, or are infected with HIV.”
19542799 tn?1479691147
But my viral load tests were always negative . I still have reactive antibody for hep C. I have no idea at all how and where I got it. I've never been exposed to its risk factors. And screen test was negative four months back (pre natal Check ups)..
If we ever get exposed to its source accidentally or not .. hep C antibodies will always be positive for the rest of life but it's not a part of disease. It's a part of our normal immune system like measles or chicken pox antibodies develop .

I hope you also get not detected viral load. In about 20 -25 % cases ,it's cured on its own without any treatment. I've no idea about treatment options.
1 Comments
thanks
683231 tn?1467323017
If you test not detected on the HCV RNA by PCR test for the hep c virus as indicated by you not having a viral load you do not have hep c and therefore nothing to treat.
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