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Avatar universal


My brother, who is an alcoholic, went to give plasma the other day. He has given plasma before, recently. They told him he cannot give anymore because he came up "false positive" for Hepatitus C!! He has never had a blood transfusion, he has never injected hisself with drugs. He is not married but he does not have casual sex. Is this something to worry about now? He will be seeing a doctor for "real" lab work Monday morning. I was wondering if his drinking has finally caught up with him and damaged his liver and the test at the blood bank is reflecting that. I don't know much about Hepatitus C, even though my brother- in-law has is it, he lives a normal life. I need some answers PLEASE!!!!!!  Thanks. L.
7 Responses
Avatar universal
Hep C is not caused by alcohol consumption.  It is transmitted through blood.  It's good he is following up with full labwork.  His liver may be damaged by alcohol.  
Avatar universal
I know Hep C is not caused by alcohol consumption. I was wondering since the tests at the blood bank are not as precise as a lab(according to the tech @ the blood bank) if maybe he does not actually have Hep C but something that is showing up on their tests that may have something to do with him maybe damaging his liver the last 30 years by his drinking. Just trying to find out what is going on with him. Monday seems so far away!
87972 tn?1322661239
The definitive test for active RNA virus is the ‘HCV RNA by PCR’ test. If your brother tested positive for HCV antibodies, it’s likely this will be one of the tests performed. If you can elaborate in the ‘false positive’ results you mentioned, i.e. actual test names with results, it’s hard to comment on his current status.

Good luck, and as mentioned above, alcohol wouldn’t have any direct effect on his viral status, but if he turns up positive for active virus, he’ll need to rethink his alcoholism.

Best to you both,

Avatar universal
Thanks Bill. All I know right now is what the tech at the blood bank told him. I don't have any actual names of the test they do to allow you to give blood/plasma. What type of test can he expect Monday to get a diagnosis. I see people on this forum referring to tx. what does that mean? What does HCV RNA by PCR mean, also? I don't know much about this except for what I have read recently. Thanks again, L.
87972 tn?1322661239
Hi again,

HCV screening at blood banks usually consists of testing for presence of antibodies; these are harmless proteins produced by our own immune response to a pathogen, in this case HCV.

Antibody results are either ‘reactive’ (positive) or non-reactive (negative). A reactive result only indicates possible exposure, but not necessarily presence of active, RNA virus. Antibody testing is set up to inexpensively screen large pools of people, and is subject to false positive results. This necessitates further, confirmatory testing.

Additionally, even if the antibody result is truly positive, and the patient was indeed exposed in the past, 15-2-% of patients will clear the virus with the aid of their own immune response in the initial six months of infection. In this case, they will continue to test positive for antibodies for life, but do not carry the active virus.

The HCV RNA by PCR test is a nucleic acid test that checks for presence of active virus, as opposed to antibody results.

Tx is an acronym for ‘treatment’:


Welcome to the discussion group,

Avatar universal
Thank you so much. I will follow the link!
87972 tn?1322661239

Should have read 15-20%

Oops :)
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