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Author Topic: How early to test?  (Read 5341 times)

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Offline londonguy75

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  • Posts: 6
How early to test?
« on: June 02, 2016, 05:31:49 am »
I did a rather stupid thing at the weekend and snorted cocaine with two others using a rolled up bank note. I noticed blood on the note the next day and having spoken with an NHS doctor (I'm in the UK) I was warned the risk of getting hep C if anyone else was infected is very high.

The NHS doctor has told me I have to wait three months for a test but I have found private health firms here claiming to be able to give extremely accurate tests after 12 days. For my peace of mind an early test would be preferred but is it possible to accurately test for hep c so early?  They are claiming their test is so reliable that later testing wouldn't be needed. Apparently it is a test for antibodies.

Does anyone have experience or know about early testing. I am a bit doubtful as this wasn't available on the NHS but Government money could be an issue. The private health company claim they make their tests more sensitive.

Offline Lynn K

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  • Get tested, get treated, get cured, fight Hep c!
Re: How early to test?
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2016, 03:00:22 pm »
I would wait as far as I know antibody testing is most accurate after 6 months as if the person has an immune system issue or HIV it could take that long for antibodies to develop. But for most people a 3 month test as your doctor said would be accurate. I guess you could test at 12 days a positive result would still mean you would have to take the test for the actual hep c virus the HCV RNA by PCR to confirm if you are currently infected but a negative test at 12 days I wouldn't trust that to be accurate.

So you could spend the extra money (I believe in the US the HCV RNA by PCR test costs about $400) and take the test for the virus or just wait and take the test as your doctor recommended at 3 months. There is no reason to do this any faster really. I know how stressful it is not knowing but even if you do have hep c it is a very slowly acting virus which in general is not that easily spread and is now easily cured by most people with the recently approved medicines.

My personal recommendation is to wait and get tested if positive for hep c antibodies get the HCV RNA by PCR test and if that is positive get treated and get cured. Then hopefully learn not to do things that put you at risk for a number of serious illness especially ones more serious than hep c

Best of luck
Genotype 1a
1978 contracted, 1990 Dx
1995 Intron A failed
2001 Interferon Riba null response
2003 Pegintron Riba trial med null response
2008 F4 Cirrhosis Bx
2014 12 week Sov/Oly relapse
10/14 fibroscan 27 PLT 96
2014 24 weeks Harvoni 15 weeks Riba
5/4/15 EOT not detected, ALT 21, AST 20
4 week post not detected, ALT 26, AST 28
12 week post NOT DETECTED (07/27/15)
ALT 29, AST 27 PLT 92
24 week post NOT DETECTED! (10/19/15)
44 weeks (3/11/16)  fibroscan 33, PLT 111, HCV NOT DETECTED!
I AM FREE!

Offline lporterrn

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  • LucindaPorterRN
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Re: How early to test?
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2016, 07:13:41 pm »
I agree with Lynn. The only thing I would add is that your hep C risk from that activity is quite low. First, you don't know if anyone you snorted with has hep C. Second, even if they did, your risk is quite low.
Lucinda Porter, RN
1988 Contracted HCV
1997 Interferon nonresponder
2003 PEG + ribavirin responder-relapser
2013 Cured (Harvoni + ribavirin clinical trial)
http://blogs.hepmag.com/lucindakporter/

Offline londonguy75

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Re: How early to test?
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2016, 02:33:12 am »
I should have said this earlier, but thank you both for taking the time to respond.

Something I didn't mention in my first message, the early tests the private clinics were offering were PCR RNA tests.

I'm currently waiting to take the three months test, a little over 6 more weeks to wait sadly.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2016, 02:40:12 am by londonguy75 »

Offline lporterrn

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  • LucindaPorterRN
    • LucindaPorterRN
Re: How early to test?
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2016, 02:36:24 pm »
Hi,
First, you are welcome - most of us know what it is like to go through stuff like this, and it helps to have people to talk to.
Second, the PCR RNA are certainly able to detect that early, so you can very likely breath a tentative sigh of relief. In 6 more weeks I suspect you will be getting good news.
Lucinda Porter, RN
1988 Contracted HCV
1997 Interferon nonresponder
2003 PEG + ribavirin responder-relapser
2013 Cured (Harvoni + ribavirin clinical trial)
http://blogs.hepmag.com/lucindakporter/

Offline londonguy75

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Re: How early to test?
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2016, 03:04:09 pm »
I actually didn't go for the early test. I am a bit of a worrier, and I thought the risk of a false positive and having to wait months for a conclusive antibodies test would be too much for me.

It has been a bit of a difficult time as I am also waiting to test for HIV, because of the same incident.

Offline lporterrn

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  • LucindaPorterRN
    • LucindaPorterRN
Re: How early to test?
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2016, 05:03:04 pm »
Oh, sorry for the misunderstanding. Here's the tricky part - if the antibody test comes back negative, technically you should repeat it at 24 weeks post-exposure to be sure. If it comes back positive, you will need to wait until 24 weeks post-exposure to see if you cleared hep C on your own. So, either wait, you'd have to wait until 24 weeks post-exposure. However, if you do the HCV RNA test now and it comes back negative, you are done waiting. If it is positive, you have to wait until 24 weeks post-exposure. The issue is, are you patient? Personally, your risk factor is remote, and if you can tolerate the wait, then you'll get better results at 24 weeks post-exposure.
Lucinda Porter, RN
1988 Contracted HCV
1997 Interferon nonresponder
2003 PEG + ribavirin responder-relapser
2013 Cured (Harvoni + ribavirin clinical trial)
http://blogs.hepmag.com/lucindakporter/

Offline londonguy75

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Re: How early to test?
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2016, 05:52:48 pm »
Thanks Lucinda, I need to have a bit of a think. I really liked your blog, it was good to know there is another drug Epclusa on the way.

 


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