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Author Topic: 8 Weeks with RNA below .15  (Read 11513 times)

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Offline someone78

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8 Weeks with RNA below .15
« on: October 23, 2016, 09:45:08 pm »
I first got my positive antibody test 8 weeks ago with HCV RNA below .15 -- the test can't quantify a viral load. Last week my testing was repeated with the exact same results.

Does anyone know the gestation period of this disease? I get STD tests regularly and I'm convinced I caught the exposure early.

I feel psychologically terrorized, scared that I'm contagious and will hurt everyone I love. I'm scared I will get sick and the drug companies will bankrupt me (even with insurance). Please help.

Offline Lynn K

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Re: 8 Weeks with RNA below .15
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2016, 10:10:50 pm »
Ok an antibody test is a test for antibodies made by your body in response to coming into contact with hep c. It does not mean you are infected with hep c.

An antibody test is not an HCV RNA test so I am not clear on what test you have had. Normally when someone tests positive for antibodies that would be followed up with a test for the virus called a HCV RNA by PCR. There is no antibody HCV RNA test they are 2 different tests. Could you post exactly what your test report says?

I am not familiar with interpretation of antibody tests so you should ask your doctor about how to interpretate that result.

To confirm hep c infection you would need a second test for the virus itself. This test is called HCV RNA by PCR you may test positive for antibodies but  negative for the hepatitis C virus itself this could mean you are exposed to sometime in the past to hepatitis C but were able to beat the virus on your own. About 25% of people are able to beat the hepatitis C virus without medical intervention.

My suggestion is to ask your doctor to  interpret your antibody test results and if required have a HCV RNA by PCR test done. Then you will know where you stand.

Just to add hepatitis c is curable today. If you are infected treatment  could be as simple as 1 pill a day for eight weeks and you would be cured. So either way whether you have hepatitis C or you don't have hepatitis C you have nothing to worry about.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2016, 10:16:40 pm by Lynn K »
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 someone78

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Re: 8 Weeks with RNA below .15
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2016, 10:16:31 pm »
My antibody tests have come back positive twice-- the HCV RNA by PCR keeps registering below .15. How do you know it's not just growing inside you? Is there anything you can do at this stage?

Offline Lynn K

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Re: 8 Weeks with RNA below .15
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2016, 10:20:16 pm »
So you have had 2 antibody tests and a separate HCV RNA by PCR test?

Did the RNA test say not detected or detected? All RNA tests list less than 15 that is the lowest level the test can ascertain the LLOQ or lower level on quantification.
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 someone78

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Re: 8 Weeks with RNA below .15
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2016, 10:30:46 pm »
Yes I've had two antibody and 2 HCV RNA by PCR. They keep being evasive with me-- they say it's detecting trace elements of Hep C below the lowest level, but that's there's nothing to do. Is it growing? Am I contagious?

Offline Lynn K

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Re: 8 Weeks with RNA below .15
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2016, 10:48:25 pm »
You should ask a doctor we are a group of patients undergoing or those who have completed treatment we cannot diagnose anyone

Did the test say detected or not detected ?
« Last Edit: October 23, 2016, 10:56:38 pm by Lynn K »
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 someone78

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  • Posts: 6
Re: 8 Weeks with RNA below .15
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2016, 10:58:17 pm »
The doctors keep just saying, "Well there's nothing to do at this point." Is there a gestation period with this illness? Is there a time that the disease takes to register results? I'm not asking for a diagnosis I'm asking for the facts around the time period the disease grows in the body? Or, alternatively, if you're not registering a measurable infection after 8 weeks-- is that the same thing as a SVR? Or does an SVR actually result in a "0" reading on the RNA test?

Offline dragonslayer

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Re: 8 Weeks with RNA below .15
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2016, 12:03:46 am »
Its impossible for us to know precisely what's going on. However, take heart... You've had 2 viral load tests, 8 wks apart, each showing the virus is detected but unquantifiable.  HCV is a rapidly replicating virus..  If you had active vital virus at work, odds are it would have replicated to a large number in this time frame.. HCV has to replicate, or die..  I was detected 29 at end of treatment, and at 8 wks post treatment, I was testing like you.. Detected, but less than 12 (my test had a lower limit of quantification of 12).    Finally, at 12 wks post treatment, I  tested undetected.  But it was a sign that because the viral load was not increasing in this time frame, odds are it would eventually clear completely, which it did.  If Im not mistaken, in the Gilead trials for Harvoni, their marker for success was < 25. 

As for gestation, I believe that by the time antibodies show up, RNA can be detected if youre infected. 

If I were you, Id ask them to order up another test in a month.. If the virus was going to replicate, it probably would have done so within this time frame; hang on to that until your next test.

« Last Edit: October 24, 2016, 12:05:49 am by dragonslayer »
Paul

DX 2008
Started Harvoni 11/26/14 for 8 wks
Completed 8 wks Harvoni 01/20/15
EOT RNA Quant result:  Detected 29
7.5 wk post tx: Detected < LLOQ(12)
11 wk post tx: UNDETECTED SVR12
24 wk post tx: UNDETECTED SVR24; AST 26; ALT 22; ALP 73
48 wk post tx: UNDETECTED SVR48; AST 18; ALT 18; ALP 70
GT 1a
vl 2.4mil
2008 bpx: Stage&Grade 0
2013 bpx: Stage&Grade: 0-1
IL28B: TT
likely infected early '70s

Offline someone78

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Re: 8 Weeks with RNA below .15
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2016, 12:07:01 am »
Thanks for sharing your perspective and experience, Paul

Offline Lynn K

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  • Get tested, get treated, get cured, fight Hep c!
Re: 8 Weeks with RNA below .15
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2016, 12:22:45 am »
Ok so SVR refers to a sustained viral response to treatment. You have not been treated and may not have hep c.

If you were exposed to hep c and actually infected your body may be in the process of fighting hep c on its own. If you are still infected at 6 months and have a detectable viral load at that time then you could seek treatment.

Hep c is not a medical emergency it takes years to decades for hep c to cause liver damage if it ever causes damage as only about 20% of people infected for 20 years will develop cirrhosis there are many here who have hep c for many years and have no liver damage.

The  LLOQ (lower level of quantification) is a statement about the test it is not a result. It is the lowest level the test is able to quantify meaning the smallest quantity the test can count.

My result says LLOQ <15 and Hepatitis C NOT DETECTED that is what a test for someone who has had hep c and either beats it with their own immune system or beats hep c with treatment.

The test does not ever report "0" viral load.

So you asked is it growing?

Maybe, maybe not your body maybe fighting the infection you will have to wait and see who wins your body's immune system or hep c.

Are you infectious? Well hep c is not easily transmitted and it seems you have very few copies circulating so you would be much less infectious. You should not engage in sharing IV drug needles and having rough sex or having sex with multiple partners without using barrier protection as those types of activities are higher risk of virus transmission but using protection is a good idea anyway for anyone when having sex with multiple partners.
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 someone78

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Re: 8 Weeks with RNA below .15
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2016, 12:55:53 am »
Thanks Lynn

Offline gnatcatcher

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  • Posts: 1,372
Re: 8 Weeks with RNA below .15
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2016, 08:39:50 am »
To be super safe, if your gums ever bleed, don't let others use your toothbrush. If you've cut yourself with your nail clipper or razor, don't let others share those. Again, as Lynn says, if your test results don't say "not detected" or "undetected" but they also say below 15, you have such a tiny amount that even sharing your toothbrush, nail clipper, or razor is extremely unlikely to harm anyone. I had HCV for decades before it was diagnosed (with a viral load of millions!), and occasionally I used the wrong toothbrush or bled onto the shared nail clipper, but I'm the only one in the household who ever got HCV.

A person's immune system actively fights the virus. In early-stage HCV like yours, the immune system may very well vanquish the HCV. I had a weakened immune system when transfusions gave me HCV, so the HCV won in my case.

If you actually have HCV and your immune system wins, you won't need treatment. If you do need treatment, don't worry about the $ -- people on these forums know how to win with insurance companies.

Here's wishing you well.

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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