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Author Topic: Infected? Not infected?  (Read 6371 times)

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Offline SamuelSelby

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 2
Infected? Not infected?
« on: January 09, 2015, 01:10:47 pm »
Many years ago I was told I had tested positive for Hep C though I was never shown those test results even though I requested them. I had been an intravenous drug user and was going through treatment and rehab. I am now well over 17 years off drugs and have lived believing I was positive for Hep C and acted accordingly (careful with cuts etc, always wore condoms during sex, made sure those around me were aware of my condition and what not to do etc..

Recently I had a trip to the hospital with a suspected heart attack (turned out to be a really bad case of acid reflux) and while there, they found something in my lungs that should not have been there (ends up, I DO have an inactive TB infection). During all the testing my doctor asked me if I had ever had a viral loading test done before because testing was showing a very low Anion Gap (below 5) as well as some low calcium and sodium levels, possibly indicative of cirrhosis. When I said I hadn't he suggested I have one done. I agreed and one was ordered and done...

The results are confusing to me...

HEP C RNA QUANT      |          Undetected          |     | Undetected IU/mL

The particular test was done by the Mayo clinic and had a testing threshold down to 15 as follows:

The quantification range of this assay is 15 to 100,000,000
                       | IU/mL (1.18 log to 8.00 log IU/mL). Testing was performed
                       | by the COBAS AmpliPrep/COBAS TaqMan HCV Test, version 2.0
                       | (Roche Molecular Systems, Inc.).

So here is my question... this test on the surface is saying there is no detectable amounts of HCV in my blood... yet I supposedly had a positive Hep C test about 17+ years ago... does this mean I do NOT have Hep C.. or that I have it, but not an active infection? or?????

When giving your response, please consider that fact that I have zero knowledge on medical terms, so speak in simple happy language to make what you are saying easier to understand.

Thanks in advance.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2015, 02:06:00 pm by SamuelSelby »

Offline Mike

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  • Member
  • Posts: 993
Re: Infected? Not infected?
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2015, 08:37:38 pm »
Hi Sam,

The test means you do not have an HCV infection, and, therefore, you do not have Hep-C.

The test you had years ago, may have been a false-positive or you may have once been exposed to the virus, but your body fought off the infection, clearing the virus.

If you were previously exposed to the virus, your body produces antibodies to fight the infection. Once these antibodies are released, you will always test positive for them, which have been why you had a positive test.

The HCV antibody test is usually the first test run, and follow up blood work is needed to confirm the actual presence of the virus.

This is what the HEP C RNA QUANT test is for. It measures the actually number of viruses that are present in the blood. If this test is negative (undetected), you do not have Hep-C.

Also note that HCV replicates very quickly and a few viruses can multiple to 100 of thousands, if not millions, in 12-24 weeks.

If you had an active infection as you were told years ago, you would definitely have a detectable viral load.

So your safe Sam. You dodged a Hep-C bullet!

Best wishes, Mike
Genotype 1a
Treated 2001 with PEG and RIBV
Treated in 2014 SOL+PEG+RIBV
Cured July 2014

Offline SamuelSelby

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 2
Re: Infected? Not infected?
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2015, 09:19:56 pm »
Thank you Mike. I def appreciate that news. It means the only thing I now have to worry about is the TB infection and finding out why I have such a low Anion Gap reading as well as my calcium and sodium levels being so low. They did an HIV test as well while I was at the hospital and it came back Negative so it does seem like other than some recalcitrant bacteria in my lungs.. I am basically healthy. I think I have used up a good bit of my luck. I was an IV drug user (heroin and meth) and shared needles a couple times... I don't think I am going to be complaining about crappy luck for a good while.

~Sam

Offline Mike

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 993
Re: Infected? Not infected?
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2015, 09:45:16 pm »
Hi Sam,

If you were a cat, you probably used 3 of your 9 lives.

In any event, best wishes and say nope to dope (I contracted HCV from sharing needles years ago), Mike
Genotype 1a
Treated 2001 with PEG and RIBV
Treated in 2014 SOL+PEG+RIBV
Cured July 2014

 


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