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Author Topic: Positive Antibody/Positive PCR after being told I cleared the virus  (Read 10219 times)

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Offline humhon

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  • Posts: 1
I was recently re-tested by a new Dr.  The antibody test was done twice to make sure it was positive and the PCR just came back positive with a number of 7.34.  My GP wants me to see a specialist.  What does the number mean?  I am very upset with this news.  I was told 12 years ago that I had no viral load and that I had cleared the virus.  I guess not.  In my research I have not been able to figure out if this number means I should be worried or optimistic.

Offline Ann

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Re: Positive Antibody/Positive PCR after being told I cleared the virus
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2013, 07:19:58 am »
Hi Humhon, welcome to the forums.

That 7.34 number is your viral load expressed in "log copies". The following is an explanation of log copies taken from our sister site, AIDSmeds.com/POZ.com. Hiv viral loads are also tested for by using a (different) PCR test, so the information relating to interpreting the number is the same.

To see the information for yourself, go to the Viral Load Lesson and click on the highlighted LOG COPIES/ML link at the bottom of the example lab sheet. It's a pop-up java script box, so I can't link you to it directly.



A log is a mathematical term that is difficult to explain. Scientists find that translating viral load counts into logs is an easier way to compare them, especially since the counts can sometimes be very large numbers. For those interested, a log is the number of times ten must be multiplied with itself to equal a certain number, in this case, your viral load count. For example, a viral load count of 100,000 is "log 5" because it is equal to 10 x 10 x 10 x 10 x 10. Logs are used to measure changes in viral load. For example, a reduction in viral load from 100,000 to 1,000 is a two log (or 99 percent) reduction.

So this means your viral load is over 10,000,000. It's not unusual for an hcv VL to be this high.

It could be that you have been infected, again, within the past twelve years after your initial negative VL results.

It would be unusual for a person who has an active (not cleared) hcv infection to not have a viral load, so you very possibly may have cleared the virus the first time around.

I fully agree with your doctor - you need to see a specialist. He or she can run further tests to find out how your liver and body in general are coping with the virus and whether or not treatment is appropriate for you.

You may want to read the Hepatitis C: The Basics Lesson. In particular, you may want to read the section How is it diagnosed, and what tests are used?

You may also want to make sure you've been tested for hiv as well, because people who have been at risk for hcv infection have often also been at risk for hiv infection. Better safe than sorry, so look into that.

Please don't hesitate to come back here to ask more questions.

« Last Edit: March 25, 2022, 06:07:39 pm by iana5252 »


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