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Author Topic: Positive and negative result - Advice sought  (Read 10994 times)

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Offline Marshmallow

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  • Posts: 4
Positive and negative result - Advice sought
« on: December 09, 2015, 10:59:17 am »
Hello friends..

Thanks for reading my post.   I require some advice please. 

Here's my story........

In May this year I got some blood tests done and tested positive for HEP C antibodies.  The first screening test.  Exposure to the virus.

I chose, at this time to bury my head in the sand, or to be more specific, a rum bottle.....

Last month, I decided to face up to things, quit drinking that same day (haven't touched a drop since - yay  :)) and went for the second test, the PCR test.  When I got the results back this time I saw that they had done the first test AGAIN, and not the PCR test (I live in Brazil and this was done in the Public Health System).  This time the results were again positive for antibodies and exposure to the virus, with a positive 'score' of 1.74. 

They then tell me they will refer me to an Infectologist (This is the Portuguese translation - I don't know the specific term for the specialist - I am from UK and this is all new to me).  I can have an appointment in February they say.  I decide I can't wait that long and decide to go to the big place here in the city, yesterday that deals specifically with HCV and HIV.  They did my bloods and gave me the results the same day, and this time I have tested NEGATIVE for everything.  Even the antibodies are not showing up in the test this time, which confused me because I read that once you have had exposure to the virus and the antibodies are released, then they will be detectable for life.   So they were happy to let me go home with a NEGATIVE result.  I showed the people there my previous two positive results and there was a lot of confusion as to how this could be.   So they have ordered the PCR test to double check and make sure, which is of course the right thing to do.  This will be done in January and there will be a long wait for the results.

So, how is it possible to have two positive test results and one negative, when (they say) they use the same testing methods?

Thanks for listening to me.   

I'm not too worried about this as I know there are good treatments out there and I will of course take care of myself now, and I know God is looking out for me and what will be will be.  But it's still something I could do without.

love and peace to you all.

Marshmallow....



« Last Edit: December 09, 2015, 11:01:59 am by Marshmallow »

Offline gnatcatcher

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  • Posts: 1,372
Re: Positive and negative result - Advice sought
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2015, 07:53:06 pm »
Marshmallow, your results are intriguing. I've never heard of that situation for HCV. I have heard of it for HBV, because I myself tested reactive (positive) for antibodies after I took the HBV vaccination series a second time in 2003, but I tested nonreactive (negative) again this spring. [My hepatologist says some people can't seem to stay protected (reactive) against HBV.]

I've been Googling around trying to find your situation. I came across this:
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/21510088_Frequency_and_Significance_of_Antibody_to_Hepatitis_C_Virus_in_Severe_Corticosteroid-Treated_Autoimmune_Chronic_Active_Hepatitis
but I don't understand enough medicalese to know whether it is relevant to your situation.

As you say, the PCR test will settle the matter. If you were exposed to HCV, you may be one of the lucky people who cleared the virus without treatment. And if not, as you say, there are good treatments out there.

Please let us know how it all turns out.

Gnatty
9/29/71 transfusions
HCV genotype 1a
7/09/15-9/30/15 Harvoni

Before treatment:
Viral Load 9,490,582
FibroScan 19.5 kPa [F4]
ALT 262
AST 217
ALP 183

Most recent:
VL still UNDETECTED (SVR 102)
FibroScan 7.6 kPa [F1-2]
ALT 15
AST 20
ALP 85

Offline Marshmallow

  • Member
  • Posts: 4
Re: Positive and negative result - Advice sought
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2015, 07:24:21 am »
Thanks for your reply Gnatcatcher. 

I can't make head nor tail of the link you sent me.  It seems to be in another language (Medicalese)  :D

My friend did a bit of research here, (online - so caution needed), and she saw that there are many cases of False Positive to the antibodies test here in Brazil, in cases of people who drink a lot, or who drank a lot.  I fall in to that category.  As I said in my original post I was about a month dry when I took the test that came back NEGATIVE.  So it's possible my heavy drinking influenced the POSITIVE results.  I don't know how likely this is.  I wonder if it's possible that here in Brazil they use a more antiquated testing method that allows for such ambiguity?

Still confused, and still sober.

Thanks. 

Offline gnatcatcher

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,372
Re: Positive and negative result - Advice sought
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2015, 08:05:57 am »
Marshmallow, I have now found something helpful in clear English (and from this HEP mag web site, no less):
http://www.hepmag.com/articles/false_test_result_2502_25760.shtml

Next month's RNA PCR test will settle the matter. Congratulations on your sobriety. I hope you'll continue to be kind to your liver.

Gnatty
9/29/71 transfusions
HCV genotype 1a
7/09/15-9/30/15 Harvoni

Before treatment:
Viral Load 9,490,582
FibroScan 19.5 kPa [F4]
ALT 262
AST 217
ALP 183

Most recent:
VL still UNDETECTED (SVR 102)
FibroScan 7.6 kPa [F1-2]
ALT 15
AST 20
ALP 85

Offline Marshmallow

  • Member
  • Posts: 4
Re: Positive and negative result - Advice sought
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2015, 02:33:39 pm »
Thanks once again for your reply Gnatcatcher, and Happy Holidays to you and yours...

This piece you sent me is very interesting -

'The problem is that antibodies that the immune system has produced to combat infections other than hep C can be what’s known as “cross-reactive”: The ELISA winds up picking up on these antibodies’ presence and incorrectly coming up positive. Research has shown, for example, that people are much more likely to test false positive if they’re living in areas of Africa where exposure to infectious diseases such as worms is more common. “There are a myriad of things than can infect you, particularly in areas where you don’t have a lot of sanitation and clean water,” says Oliver Laeyendecker, PhD, an infectious disease researcher at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.'

Actually, I did have worms here last year.  As I already mentioned, I live in Brazil, and I got them somehow around a year ago (probably from eating unwashed vegetables).  Horrible to have and left me with an itchy rectum for a few days, but was easily cleared with an over the counter pill. 

This of course doesn't mean anything.  I think I have possibly had some exposure to HCV.  In 2010 I went to a dentist in India that was a little off the beaten track, but it seemed clean enough to me, and at that time I certainly wasn't thinking about virus transmission.  Also a few years prior, in Spain I got my nose pierced in a little street market with one of those 'gun' machines they used to use for piercing.   I didn't consider this a risk at the time, but looking back I should have.....   

Also I kind of have a few symptoms of HCV infection.   I have this 'brain fog' that I hear people speak of.  This could be maybe be down to my excessive alcohol consumption over the years, and my struggles with depression and mental illness too.  The cognition of the brain doesn't function well.  Something is awry.  It may be connected to HCV.  My urine is kind of normal I think.  A light to dark yellow when I am not hydrated properly, and clear when I am.

Anyway.  The PCR test in 2 weeks shall make things clearer for me.  I shall continue to live healthily in the meantime (Though I am allowed to binge on chocolate as it's Xmas.. :)

Best
Marshmallow

Offline gnatcatcher

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,372
Re: Positive and negative result - Advice sought
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2015, 04:05:46 pm »
. . . (Though I am allowed to binge on chocolate as it's Xmas.. :)
Understood ;) I hope you don't mind that the chocolate at Xmastime in our household is fudge that depends on fully melted marshmallows for its luscious creaminess. Glad you'll have results in a couple of weeks. -Gnatty
9/29/71 transfusions
HCV genotype 1a
7/09/15-9/30/15 Harvoni

Before treatment:
Viral Load 9,490,582
FibroScan 19.5 kPa [F4]
ALT 262
AST 217
ALP 183

Most recent:
VL still UNDETECTED (SVR 102)
FibroScan 7.6 kPa [F1-2]
ALT 15
AST 20
ALP 85

Offline Marshmallow

  • Member
  • Posts: 4
Re: Positive and negative result - Advice sought
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2016, 09:55:50 pm »
Hi Gnatcatcher.

I got the results of the PCR today and they were negative.  I don't have Hep C and I have never had it.

I'm going to have to go and find something else to stress about now.   ???

Thanks for your help and taking the time to reply to me. 

Love peace and harmony.

x

Offline KimInTheForest

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,972
  • Believe in yourself
Re: Positive and negative result - Advice sought
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2016, 10:22:09 pm »
Good news about the negative result on your PCR test for Hep C, Marshmallow. Congrats! :)

kim
Kim Goldberg (Nanaimo, BC)
1970s: Contracted HCV (genotype 3a)
2015: Cured with Harvoni + ribavirin (12 weeks)
MY STORY: https://pigsquash.wordpress.com/2016/01/28/undetectable-my-hep-c-story/

Offline gnatcatcher

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,372
Re: Positive and negative result - Advice sought
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2016, 05:15:27 am »
Hi Gnatcatcher.

I got the results of the PCR today and they were negative.  I don't have Hep C and I have never had it.

I'm going to have to go and find something else to stress about now.   ???

Thanks for your help and taking the time to reply to me. 

Love peace and harmony.

x

Marshmallow, I'm thrilled that the original test was utterly wrong.  As far as your finding something else to stress about now, based on what's been in our news about Brazil, unfortunately you have many options from which to choose. (So do we here in the USA.)

I've enjoyed corresponding with you. Have a wonderful life.

Gnatty
9/29/71 transfusions
HCV genotype 1a
7/09/15-9/30/15 Harvoni

Before treatment:
Viral Load 9,490,582
FibroScan 19.5 kPa [F4]
ALT 262
AST 217
ALP 183

Most recent:
VL still UNDETECTED (SVR 102)
FibroScan 7.6 kPa [F1-2]
ALT 15
AST 20
ALP 85

 


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