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Author Topic: Antibodies positive/PCR negative for years, can it become active?  (Read 23526 times)

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Offline AlexPKeaton

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  • Posts: 2
So about 5 years ago, I asked my DR for a full panel work up including Hep C, knowing I had been reckless with drugs/needles 20 years ago.  It came back with antibody positive for Hep C and more tests were ordered.  PCR testing was done and liver enzymes.  PCR has come back negative for no detectable virus for the past 4 years and liver is fine, no elevated levels or anything.

I was in a relationship at the time and my partner accepted it.  We are no longer together and I'm getting back out in the dating thing and I don't know exactly how to approach this in telling someone, since I don't know if, with no active virus, can I even infect anyone?  Since I was one of the ones who's body seemed to fight it off and have no virus, will it ever become active?

Obviously being safe with someone new will happen anyways, but I feels it's something I should tell someone at some point before that happens, I'd just like to have more information on my current situation.

Thanks.

Offline iana5252

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Re: Antibodies positive/PCR negative for years, can it become active?
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2013, 05:53:30 pm »
Hi Alex,

Welcome to the Hep Forums.

A negative PCR test well after your point of possible infection is a good indication that you do NOT have hep C. It sounds like you were one of the about 15 to 25 percent of people who were able to fight off the virus on your own.

You can be re-infected with hep C so if you have any more recent exposure to risk factors you should re-test.

You can read more about how hep C is diagnosed here...
http://www.hepmag.com/articles/2512_18753.shtml

To completely ease your mind, we strongly recommend you talk with your personal physician.

Offline Ann

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Re: Antibodies positive/PCR negative for years, can it become active?
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2013, 06:25:01 pm »
Hi Alex,

It looks as though you did at some point contract hcv, but repeated negative PCR (viral load) tests in the past four years mean that you successfully cleared the virus on your own.

This means you cannot transmit hcv. You don't have hcv.

You're lucky - I had to do the treatment for a year and it's not very pleasant. I also cleared the virus and I've got ten years of negative hcv viral load tests behind me now.

I also cannot transmit the virus and my doctor gave me the all-clear on that score after about two years of negative VL tests.

You will always test hcv antibody positive and so you'd be wise to get a viral load test done once every few years.

Not because it can "come back", but because there's always the chance of reinfection - in other words, getting infected all over again with a new case.

Ann

Offline AlexPKeaton

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 2
Re: Antibodies positive/PCR negative for years, can it become active?
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2013, 11:20:59 am »
Thank you Ann.  Sorry you had to go through the treatment.  I know a few people that have or still do and can't clear the virus, so it's a lifelong thing for them.

I haven't done any drugs in the past 13 years, so I am low risk for reinfection, so I'm thankful for that.

Offline Ann

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Re: Antibodies positive/PCR negative for years, can it become active?
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2013, 04:36:50 am »
You're welcome, Alex.

It's great that you're at lower risk, but I'd still recommend you get a VL test done every once in a while going forward - even if it's only once every ten years or so. Hcv is nothing to mess with. You can no longer get antibody tests, as you will always test antibody positive.

Please discuss this with your doctor.

My ex-husband is one of those who did not manage to clear the virus with treatment and my heart goes out to your friends and loved ones in the same position. Here's hoping the newer drugs make a big difference for them.

Ann

 


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