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Author Topic: HEP C RNA positive Antibody test non reactive  (Read 14647 times)

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Offline Layla123

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HEP C RNA positive Antibody test non reactive
« on: February 08, 2017, 03:21:23 pm »
For the last three years I donate blood every 8-12 weeks. During my last donation I was told my blood pressure was too high and I should come back later...I rechecked it in an hour and it was still too high. Had a lot of coffee before heading over to donate. Waited a few days and went back, bp was high but under the level and was able to donate. A week later I received a letter in the mail informing me that I had tested positive for the HEP C Virus RNA and Antibody test was non reactive negative....I was shocked!!! To say the least...I have never used IV drugs....I dont share any household items with anyone...My wife donated blood 3 days before me and did not receive any notification in the mail so I have to assume she did not test positive...I did have a tattoo approximately 7 weeks prior. I also was at a strip club where I kissed a stripper....I had an epidural, endoscopy and a colonoscopy all within the time period between my blood tests. Besides that I have never had any other instances where I would put myself in a position to be infected....yesterday I had my blood drawn and checked again for HEP C. I should find out the results later today or tomorrow. I also have an appt setup with my GP tomorrow afternoon. Obviously I am going nuts. Is there a chance that this test could be wrong? If its not wrong and I caught this within the first two months is there a good chance I will be cured? I dont drink alcohol, I dont smoke - maybe an occasional cigar, I dont do drugs....Can someone please help me out with next steps and also reassure me that this test could be wrong...I just dont see how I could have gotten this...Could I have gotten this from an infected stripper by kissing her or is it more likely that I got it from the tattoo?

Offline Lynn K

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Re: HEP C RNA positive Antibody test non reactive
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2017, 08:01:40 am »
Hep c is a blood borne virus it is not transmitted by kissing. Hep c infected blood must enter the blood stream of an uninfected individual.

I have never heard of someone testing negative on the hep c antibody test and positive on the HCV RNA by PCR test. Also to the best of my knowledge as the HCV RNA test is expensive it is not used by blood banks they just test for antibodies and if positive refer you to your personal physician.

Having a positive antibody test only means you may have been exposed to the hep c virus and you body has made antibodies to fight the virus. About 25% of people beat the virus on their own without treatment and will be not detected when they test for the hep c virus itself with the HCV RNA test. People in that situation will always test positive for antibodies as will people like me who treated hep c and are now cured. I test not detected on the HCV RNA test but if I had the hep c antibody test I will test positive.

There are also rare false positive antibody tests which is why the next test is the HCV RNA test to prove or disprove current infection.

Do you know what test you just had done? Was it the HCV RNA test or another antibody test? Either way if you test detected on the HCV RNA test that does mean you are infected with hep c you will also know your viral load which is how many copies of the virus is circulating in your blood.

Hep c is very curable for most people today no matter how long you have been infected. I had hep c for 37 years and treated previously with the old medicines that were not very effective but I treated with the newer medicines 2 years ago and was cured.

So first get tested and find out what is going on. Then if you do have hep c get treated and get cured so no worries either way.

Good luck to you
« Last Edit: February 09, 2017, 08:04:04 am 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 Layla123

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Re: HEP C RNA positive Antibody test non reactive
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2017, 08:13:14 am »
Thank you Lynn, this is the exact text from the blood bank letter....Hepatitis C Virus RNA Test positive and Antibody Test Non-reactive. The HCV RNA test we performed on your blood (which detects the genetic material from the virus itself) was positive. The antibody test (detects proteins made by your immune system in response to an infection) was negative. The meaning of this combination of tests is that you likely have been recently infected with HCV.

I also had another lab test me 10 days after I donated blood and their test for the antibodies came back negative as well...keep in mind it has been 10 weeks since I kissed stripper and 7+ weeks since receiving a tattoo....

Does this information change your opinion in any way? Also, it seems that if these tests are correct the virus is in my blood but my body has not started fighting it or has not created the antibody. Does that make sense? I assume if this is true and I start treatments ASAP the end result will be good based on current cure rates?

Did you have any bad side effetcs from your treatment regiment?

Thanks, really concerned.

Offline Lynn K

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Re: HEP C RNA positive Antibody test non reactive
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2017, 08:38:10 am »
Well it can take time for antibodies to develop so I suppose it could be a recent infection.

Your risk factors are the tattoo. the endoscopy and colonoscopy. There have been some rare instances of cross contamination during those procedures. If you went to a licensed tattoo parlor they should have been using universal precautions like not using the same ink container with multiple patrons they should put some ink in a small container and throw away any left overs. And they should have an autoclave to sterilize their equipment and not reuse needles.

Kissing is zero risk

Cure rates for those never treated before without any liver damage are about 98% reguardadas of length of time infected or viral load.

Di you happen to be told your viral load it would be part of the HCVRNS test result. Also one other test you will need is your genotype hep c is in different varieties genotype 1a 1b 2a 2b etc some treatments work better than others depending on your genotype. Genotype 1a is the most common in the US

Nope no sides worked every day even went in a short business trip to Italy 9 time zones away
« Last Edit: February 09, 2017, 08:45:17 am 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 Layla123

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Re: HEP C RNA positive Antibody test non reactive
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2017, 02:34:09 pm »
Hi Lynn, looks like your pretty well versed with this stuff so im going to throw out another question....So I went to my general practitioner yesterday and showed him my blood work from 12/8 where all of my liver enzyme tests were normal....I also showed him the letter from the blood donation on 1/27 which said that I tested positive for HEP C RNA test and non reactive to antibody test - negative....I mentioned to him that I had a tattoo on 12/21 and in my opinion this is where Ive become infected. I say this now because today I got results of a separate blood panel test which I took 2/8 - that had my AST listed at 105 and my ALT listed at 234 which leads me to believe that I am definitely infected....both of these were normal during my 12/8 test....My GP took a definitive test for HEP C which will show my load and strain....I should have the results tomorrow....My conclusion is that I became infected on 12/21 and that my body has yet to create the antibodies as of my last antibody test I took on 2/5 (which was also negative)......So seeing the ALT and AST numbers which definitely insinuate HEP C infection do you see any urgent actions that I need to take? Are these numbers crazy high or normal for someone who has recently been infected....My GP told me if tests come back positive he will recommend me to a doctor who is the head of the gastro department in a major hospital.....Do you think they will begin treating me ASAP or wait and see what happens with my own bodies immune system.....obviously I am a nervous wreck with a ton of anxiety...on top of being really, really pissed off.... any recommendations, comments, advice would be greatly appreciated....

Offline lporterrn

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Re: HEP C RNA positive Antibody test non reactive
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2017, 04:11:52 pm »
I responded on the other thread that you started - see if that answered some of your questions: https://forums.hepmag.com/index.php?topic=4722.msg48817#msg48817
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 Lynn K

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Re: HEP C RNA positive Antibody test non reactive
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2017, 01:17:54 am »
As Lucinda commented on your other thread your ALT and AST are not unusually high asuming a recent new infection is the cause. It is possible  for your immune system to beat hepatitis C on its own  about 25% of people infected with hepatitis C are able to successfully cure hepatitis C without treatment. The remainder if still infected after 6 months are considered to be chronically infected and will need to be treated to be cured.

ALT and AST levels do not indicate degree of liver damage only that something is irritating your liver.  Hepatitis C takes many years to decades to cause liver damage if it ever does so only about 20% of people infected with hepatitis C for 20 years time will develop significant liver damage.  I was infected with hepatitis C for 37 years. I treated with the old methods of treatment but they were not very effective. I was treated with the new medicines successfully two years ago.  Unfortunately about nine years ago I was diagnosed with liver cirrhosis after being infected with hepatitis C for probably 30 years.  While I am now cured of hepatitis C I still have the liver damage from being infected for so long so I still have cirrhosis but my liver function tests are normal range just proving that liver function testing and amount of liver damage are not related.

I think they will wait to see if you are able to beat hep c without treatment. Then if still infected after 6 months they will consider putting you on treatment. That is my assumption anyway. Hep c is not a medical emergency as I mentioned hep c is a very slowly acting illness with most people not even aware they are infected which is why it is called a silent  disease.

 Hopefully you will be able to beat hepatitis C on your own and not require treatment.  But if you're not in the lucky 25% who beat hep c on their own, you can still be treated and cured with the new medicines and be able to put hepatitis C infection behind you.

If you have any more questions come up ask away and we will do our best to try to help

Good luck
« Last Edit: February 15, 2017, 01:23:42 am 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 Layla123

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Re: HEP C RNA positive Antibody test non reactive
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2017, 12:11:18 pm »
Thank you so much for the response

Offline Layla123

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Re: HEP C RNA positive Antibody test non reactive
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2017, 02:46:29 pm »
So here is a quick update...I saw the Gastro doctor lastnight for the first time...He answered many of my questions...providing me with the same exact information that I was able to obtain on this Boatrd (many thanks to all who have responded)...He gave me a prescription for a blood test (which I just came back from)..this will tell me for sure if I have Hep A, B or C....I hope not all of the above....Seems as though whtever I have I got from a damn tattoo...he says that he will not treat for 6 months...he says if I do have Hep C my body will begin building the antibodies to fight off the virus and hopefully will be able to beat it on its own...If not, he says he will most likely begin treatment between 6-12 months from today, based on what my blood tests look like, which he has suggested I start doing every two weeks...His advice to me was dont drink alcohol - 21 years sober, don't take acetiminophen...tough one because I have been having very bad headaches for the past month, including a migraine which made me vomit this morning...He didnt seem to interested in hearing about these headaches - arent they a symptom???? Told me to wear a condom (yes, I am a male, lol) when engaging in sexual activities (with my wife of course).....What do you think? Sund like a good approach? I am going to see the neurologist in March regarding the headaches.....

Offline Lynn K

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Re: HEP C RNA positive Antibody test non reactive
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2017, 03:19:04 pm »
The risk of sexual transmission is low especially for long term monogamous couples. The CDC does not suggest such couples would need barrier protection. There are many here in long term relationships where one has hep c and the other does not. Of course if you want to avoid even the small risk absolutely you can use condoms. You might also consider having you wife tested to be sure she does not have hep c just for peace of mind but I doubt she if infected from you but she could have even possibly become infected at some other point in her life and not know it as hep c is not routinely tested.

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hepatitis-c/expert-answers/hepatitis-c/faq-20058441

"If you're in a long-term, monogamous relationship with a partner who has hepatitis C, your risk of contracting hepatitis C is thought to be low, unless you also have human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). For these monogamous couples, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) doesn't recommend routine condom use to prevent transmission. But couples should avoid sharing razors, toothbrushes and nail clippers or having intercourse during menstruation."

https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hcv/cfaq.htm#cFAQ32

"Can Hepatitis C be spread through sexual contact?

Yes, but the risk of transmission from sexual contact is believed to be low. The risk increases for those who have multiple sex partners, have a sexually transmitted disease, engage in rough sex, or are infected with HIV. More research is needed to better understand how and when Hepatitis C can be spread through sexual contact."

"What are the symptoms of acute Hepatitis C?

Approximately 70%–80% of people with acute Hepatitis C do not have any symptoms. Some people, however, can have mild to severe symptoms soon after being infected, including:
Fever
Fatigue
Loss of appetite
Nausea
Vomiting
Abdominal pain
Dark urine
Clay-colored bowel movements
Joint pain
Jaundice (yellow color in the skin or eyes)
How soon after exposure to Hepatitis C do symptoms appear?
If symptoms occur, the average time is 6–7 weeks after exposure, but this can range from 2 weeks to 6 months. However, many people infected with the Hepatitis C virus do not develop symptoms."

Me speaking here: Headaches are so generalized it could be most anything but it is not really a symptom of hep c even if you are one of the few who experience symptoms in the acute phase.

Actually acetaminophen is perfectly safe as long as you do not exceed the recommended daily dosing of 1200 mg/day and not taking it daily and long term. I have liver cirrhosis and have been advised by my hepatologist to only take acetaminophen as for me with having cirrhosis bleeding is a concern so I need to avoid NSAIDS like Advil and Aleve. But again I am not a doctor so I will defer to his recommendations.

Some info from the VA

http://www.hepatitis.va.gov/patient/faqs/aspirin-tylenol-safety.asp

"Q: Is it safe to take aspirin or Tylenol if I have hepatitis C?

Over-the-counter pain relief medications are usually not harmful. Check with your doctor first and take them in moderation. Overuse of acetaminophen (in Tylenol) can cause liver damage. Patients with hepatitis C should limit their acetaminophen (Tylenol) to two grams (four 500mg tablets) per day. Other drugs for pain include aspirin, ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil, Naproxen, and Aleve. They are safe in HCV patients who do not have cirrhosis. But, if a patient has cirrhosis, then ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil, and Naproxen cannot be taken at all. If you are not sure, always check with your doctor."

Just wanted to add: While hep b and hep c are blood borne hep a is not it is food borne.

https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hav/afaq.htm

https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hbv/bfaq.htm


Did he have you do a test for your genotype of hep c? That would be something like 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b I think it goes to 6a, 6b . In the US GT 1a or 1b are most common. When you had the HCV RNA by PCR test as part of that test result you should have been given your viral load. That is how many copies of the virus are circulating in your blood. Knowing your genotype will determine which treatment will be most effective for you.

You should request copies of your lab tests or if you can get access on line my doctor uses MyChart. Not sure why he is testing you for hep c (i am assuming the antibody test ?) if you already tested positive on the HCV RNA test then you do have hep c so I am a little confused on what testing you have had done. The hep a and hep b tests are probably antibody tests and when you donated they at least would have also tested you for hep b as that is also blood borne.

I do agree that waiting to be sure you were not able to beat the virus without treatment is a good idea. If you are still infected after that you are chronically infected and will need treatment to clear the virus.
Anyway good luck I am sure you will get this all figured out soon.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2017, 03:32:17 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 Layla123

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Re: HEP C RNA positive Antibody test non reactive
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2017, 04:22:52 pm »
WOW! Thank you Lynn K for sharing your comments and knowledge...hmmm thats a lot of info - thanks so much. So to answer some of your questions..My wife donated blood a few days before me and luckily...no letter came in the mail for her. I know the blood center is very critical of testing every drop of blood so Im pretty sure she isnt infected..although i will make sure she requests that they test her during her upcoming physical. Luckily, i donate blood every 8 weeks so this was detected in the very early stage....the test results said positive HCV RNA results negative antibody. They did not provide any additional information regarding strain, load, etc.....I had my blood retested a week later and unknowingly they tested only for the antibody which was still not present....My General Practitioner tested the same antibody - which came back negative, however my liver enzymes went from 17,23 - 123, 253...and most recently 250 and 650.....So up until today I never was tested for the load, strain, etc...but that will all be available within a couple of days....Unfortunately i am definitely symptomatic...itching hives, low grade fever every couple of days, not much appetite for a big dude, fatigue has increased! I also stopped injecting testosterone which will increase my fatigue...I guess I was infected around 8 weeks ago so a lot of this stuff is text book....assuming my body is starting to build antibodies..or at least in the next few weeks...I am hoping that these symptoms will decrease as my body starts to recognize the virus and starts to defend itself...Im sure a portion of this is also mental....The more you read the more symptoms you get....I hope not...Im not reading or researching anymore....just wait and see what the results of this last blood test are..and take it from there. Many Thanks for all the comments...
« Last Edit: February 21, 2017, 04:24:36 pm by Layla123 »

Offline Lynn K

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Re: HEP C RNA positive Antibody test non reactive
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2017, 04:36:21 pm »
The viral load is part of the HCV RNA test the genotype test is run separately.

Hives are not a symptom of hep c and as with the headach a low fever could be anything, as well as fatigue and loss of appitite. The best indicator of a liver problem, that is assuming you are one of the few who have noticeable symptoms of early infection, would be jaundice and clay colored stool. If you had jaundice however you would also have significantly elevated bilirubin.

Personally I think you might be stressing yourself out. Hives can be caused by stress amount a lot of other things but not hep c and so can loss of appetite.

But anyway you are on the right path to get this all figured out

Good 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 Layla123

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Re: HEP C RNA positive Antibody test non reactive
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2017, 05:12:12 pm »
Ha ha ha....oh I definitely agree with you on the stressing out part. Crazy how the mind works!!!! Thanks again.

Offline lporterrn

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Re: HEP C RNA positive Antibody test non reactive
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2017, 06:23:09 pm »
Lynn gave you the best info esp re tylenol safety. One clarification, the daily dose may be higher than 1200 mg/day - This may help: https://www.hepmag.com/basics/hepatitis-c-basics/over-the-counter-remedies
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 Lynn K

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Re: HEP C RNA positive Antibody test non reactive
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2017, 06:30:16 pm »
I guess maybe I was thinking about salt recommendations oops thanks :)
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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Re: HEP C RNA positive Antibody test non reactive
« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2017, 01:42:59 pm »
Well Lynn, that reminds me that we should be talking more about that too! Thanks for the reminder.
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 Layla123

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Re: HEP C RNA positive Antibody test non reactive
« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2017, 02:51:51 pm »
Just a quick update....today I got my ast & alt enzyme tests results...last time they were 300&650....this time - 1 week later they are 130 & 325! Significantly lower...tomorrow I will get the results of hep c positive or not, strain, load....last test there were no antibodies! See what it says tomorrow! Any thoughts on why the enzyme numbers have dropped and I am assuming this is a good thing...thoughts?

Offline Lynn K

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Re: HEP C RNA positive Antibody test non reactive
« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2017, 01:20:49 am »
Enzyme levels vary all the time. Enzymes are produced when the liver is trying to heal itself from injury so you could think that less injust would be less the liver is working to heal that day. But they could be higher again the next time tested.

Sorry to say but it doesn't really mean much.

The important thing is yours are above normal on both tests so something is going on.

My ALT and AST before I treated were just ALT 79 and AST 40 they never were over 100 any time I was tested while I was being followed every 6 months since 1989. Now that I am cured they are in normal range.

Good luck with your testing. Just to add if you have a viral load on the HCV RNA test the hep c antibody testing is kind of a moot point as having a viral load proves conclusively you have hep c.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2017, 01:28:01 am 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 Layla123

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Re: HEP C RNA positive Antibody test non reactive
« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2017, 01:07:25 pm »
All, looking to hear some thoughts, comments, suggestions regarding my current blood work...I just came from my Gastro doc (whom I have now fired, lol)...seemed to be more concerned about doing procedures than discussing my blood work and having a discussion about me continuing Testosterone. Basically told me to do whatever I want to do with regards to the Testosterone..I explained to him, I just wanted to hear his justification as to why he wanted me to stop it cold turkey after being on it for four years with no liver elevation......So anyway, my AST & ALT  levels had been 300 and 650, then 2 weeks ago they were 119 & 315, today they are 44 & 95.....my viral load went from 68,495 two weeks ago to 5,630.....for some reason I am very happy....but not sure if they actually mean anything...doctor is no help...When he heard I had scheduled an appt with  hepatologist he basically told me, "okay let him treat you going forward".....Could this mean that my body is doing a good job fighting off the virus and may knck it out? or are these just normal ups & downs when getting blood tested every 2 weeks for HEP C? Many Thanks!!!!!

Offline Lynn K

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Re: HEP C RNA positive Antibody test non reactive
« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2017, 07:16:03 pm »
Viral load and Liver enzyme tests as far as changes don't mean much. The fact that you have a detectable viral load means you have hep c the numbers can and do vary often.

However, that is a pretty good drop and since you were recently apparently infected it might mean something. The only way to know if you are chronically infected is to wait 6 months past your exposure. If you still have a viral load at that point you probably will need treatment to eridacate the virus but that will be up to your new doctor.

Curious what procedures he wanted to do? The only one I could think of that you maybe should have would be an ultrasound. Or maybe a Fibroscan, or Fibrosure (blood test), or a liver biopsy just in case you were infected earlier than you believe. But I would opt to avoid the liver biopsy if favor of the other 2 options if available.

Good luck
« Last Edit: March 06, 2017, 07:20:25 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 Layla123

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Re: HEP C RNA positive Antibody test non reactive
« Reply #20 on: March 22, 2017, 04:55:31 pm »
Hello All...so on March 6th I posted this ....my AST & ALT  levels had been 300 and 650, then 2 weeks ago they were 119 & 315, today they are 44 & 95.....my viral load went from 68,495 two weeks ago to 5,630

Today I just got the results of my HCV blood test...AST 23, ALT 34. mMy viral load is now 852...and my genotype has been identified as 1a. All other liver measurements are normal...

So here's where Im at.....I have been itching like crazy. I have a small red bump here and there on my skin but nothing substantial. I have been getting some hives....Ive got some small sores on the inside of my lips from biting the dead skin (nervousness?) Tell me this...

could all of these skin irritations be derived from my body fighting the virus????

or any other reason. Could this be HIV?..

Based on my ASt & ALT's dropping into normal range and my viral load at 852...Does it appear s though my body will beat this by itself? Ive been infected for 3 months...

Today I was scheduled to have an HIV test but unfortunately had to leave before my doctor could draw my blood (waited 40 mins had to take son to doctor appt - more important)....I rescheduled the test for tomorrow....Does anyone know if you were infected with HIV would the liver function tests be elevated? Im hoping its a long shot but I was definitely infected during the tattoo process. I have read a lot about co-infection...so obviously Im worried....Thanks for all your feedback.

Offline Lynn K

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Re: HEP C RNA positive Antibody test non reactive
« Reply #21 on: March 22, 2017, 10:11:06 pm »
HIV has an entirely different way of attacking the body. HIV attacks the bodies own immune system and turned it against itself causing people to develop rare oportunistic infections. The realtionship of HCV to HIV is primarily found in cases of men who have sex with men (MSM) the reason for the relationship is not clear at this time.

So no HIV should not cause an increase in liver enzymes.

It is possible your body is trying to fight of the infection. But if you haven beaten back the virus after 6 months that is the definition of chronic infection. Your doctor could decide to wait longer just to see if there is a chance you could clear without treatment especially if your viral load remains very low. But if 6 months have past and your viral load is increasing that would mean you were not able to clear the virus and will need to be treated.

As to your other symptoms of itchiness and small red bumps that could be a lot of things from stress to having changed your laundry detergent. 

You could try oatmeal soap or bath soaks, or maybe Benadryl which contains Diphenhydramine to help with your itching or if bothersome ask your regular doctor

Here is an article about itching red bumps

http://www.self.com/story/the-7-most-common-causes-of-itchy-red-bumps
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 Layla123

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Re: HEP C RNA positive Antibody test non reactive
« Reply #22 on: March 23, 2017, 07:50:00 am »
Thanks I hope to put the whole HIV question to rest today....I plan on being tested for HIV and any other test which the doctor thinks may be beneficial since I contacted HEP C from an unknown person..We know the source..just not who was tattooed prior to me....I am hoping that since I have been infected for the past 3 months and my viral load has dropped to 852 and liver enzyme levels have normalized - I hope that this is a good sign that my body is winning the war....

Offline lporterrn

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Re: HEP C RNA positive Antibody test non reactive
« Reply #23 on: March 23, 2017, 08:08:05 pm »
It really looks like you may be clearing this. Note that if you do, you will likely always test positive for HCV antibody, and that unlike many other viruses, the antibody is NOT protective, so you could get HCV if exposed in the future.
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 Layla123

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Re: HEP C RNA positive Antibody test non reactive
« Reply #24 on: March 23, 2017, 08:56:10 pm »
Thanks Lucinda!  I'm praying I do clear this on my own! Still have 3 months to go! Tell me this in all your discussions have you ever heard of anyone who knew they had hep experiencing itchy skin? I'm sitting in bed itchy as heck as I type! I went and got tested for syphillis and HIV today!
« Last Edit: March 23, 2017, 08:58:48 pm by Layla123 »

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Re: HEP C RNA positive Antibody test non reactive
« Reply #25 on: March 24, 2017, 04:07:46 pm »
Yes on the itching (uncommon) but there are so many things that cause itching that I wouldn't assume it is related.
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 dragonslayer

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Re: HEP C RNA positive Antibody test non reactive
« Reply #26 on: March 24, 2017, 08:46:39 pm »
Thanks Lucinda!  I'm praying I do clear this on my own! Still have 3 months to go! Tell me this in all your discussions have you ever heard of anyone who knew they had hep experiencing itchy skin? I'm sitting in bed itchy as heck as I type! I went and got tested for syphillis and HIV today!

Yea, I did!  Itching so that I would draw blood from scratching.. And, it always occurred on the tops of my feet and on my ankles.. I could go weeks without any itching, and then it would always come back, sometimes several days a week..  There was no rash or external signs of anything... It felt like there were bugs under my skin or something.. This went on before I got treated, and after SVR.. for awhile.

Generally, it is thought that such itching is a sign and symptom of a liver compromised by Cirrhosis.   I never had  a liver biopsy worse than stage/grade 0-1, and that as recently as 1.5 yrs before treatment commenced.  I was even itching around the time of that biopsy.. I was convinced it was related to my liver, even though I was far from cirrhosis.

Thank goodness, it all stopped about 5 months ago, ie about a year and a half after SVR.    I can only assume that even though I was never near cirrhosis, it Was related to my HCV and liver.  And that it took a couple of years post treatment before things healed up enough so that its no longer an issue..  Coincidentally, I also would experience some occasional, mild upper right quadrant discomfort which occurred in the same general time frame as the itching.   Both ceased around the same time.  My doctor never paid much attention to either... Im sure that would have been different if he had seen any indication of liver damage.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2017, 08:46:48 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 Layla123

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Re: HEP C RNA positive Antibody test non reactive
« Reply #27 on: March 25, 2017, 07:20:07 am »
Thank you all!!! Paul you have made my weekend!!!! Since being infected by a tattoo I have been worried about testing positive for HIV. Although the blood bank told me I was negative for HIV, I tested positive HCV (yet negative antibodies)....Gatsro doc asked me if they tested me for HIV - I told him they did...but it was so early on..then I started reading the internet and hearing about coinfection and how you should be tested more than once and in the future as well. Thinking I was tested too early - within weeks of contracting HCV..I put off being tested till after a vacation, didnt want to hear bad news...yet I was cautious as if I were HIV positive....on Thursday I finally got tested....Doc called me yesterday...heart stopped for a moment till doc told me "sorry Jim, we didnt get the results back, talk Monday"......#E$%$^%@&!!!! I notice a little raised red spot and itchy as heck, like a pin being put in my skin...ironically the spot goes away within a day or so....Took Benadryl last night and was asleep by 7:30 pm....combination of fatigue and Benadryl....Hope to be in a better spot Monday!!! THANKS AGAIN.

Offline Layla123

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Re: HEP C RNA positive Antibody test non reactive
« Reply #28 on: March 25, 2017, 07:25:05 am »
Also Paul, Im pretty confident that I dont have liver complications. I am an alcoholic - yet sober 21 years. Never had any issues with my liver while drinking (Im only 50 quit drinking pretty young)....My liver enzymes are all within normal range as of yesterday (one result the doc did get back, lol)......so no liver issues that I know of..Although I see a heptologist in April just to confirm...with my viral load dropping (*52) and liver enzymes normal, Im hoping and praying that my viral load is <15 by time I see doc....

Offline Layla123

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Re: HEP C RNA positive Antibody test non reactive
« Reply #29 on: March 27, 2017, 04:56:45 pm »
All,
I am grateful for all of your responses and input during this trying time for me....I want you to know that my doctor just called me and told me I tested negative for both syphllis and HIV....Thats a big relief....She also told me that the hive like bumps and itching may be caused by the acute HCV infection.....She said to make sure I address this with the liver doctor - as he may have more experience with these symptoms.....my Viral load did rise from 852 to 7000...still minimal - I think.....my AST 29 and ALT 46 are still within range...

Offline Lynn K

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Re: HEP C RNA positive Antibody test non reactive
« Reply #30 on: March 27, 2017, 07:32:35 pm »
I don't have a lot of my data before I found out I was infected. I believe I was infected in 1978. All I do know is I had a blood test in Feb 1989 and had normal liver enzymes. In late Nov 1990 I donated blood and had slightly elevated liver enzymes and positive for hep c antibodies. There was no test at that time for the virus.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2017, 07:34:13 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 Mugwump

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Re: HEP C RNA positive Antibody test non reactive
« Reply #31 on: March 28, 2017, 08:07:36 am »
Severe itching caused by HCV is an uncommon reaction and is not at all related to cirrhosis. The itching caused by cirrhosis is completely different. I have experienced both.

However it is fairly common for those who have HCV to have much more pronounced reactions to common skin irritants. Again how HCV effects the immune system long term is the suspect. My nemesis is the myriad of volatile chemicals used to accelerate the solution in water of most laundry detergents. I walk by the laundry detergent isle in a supermarket and my skin starts to crawl and I start to sneeze. Certain brands can actually make my skin blister and over time crack and bleed. Having a hyped up immune system that over reacts to irritants seems to be the culprit in many of the secondary effects of long term HCV infection.

 
Caution shameless self promotion below :-)
https://www.hepmag.com/article/eric-reesor-27742-782589663
DING DONG MY DRAGON (HCV) IS FINALLY DEAD!

Offline Layla123

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Re: HEP C RNA positive Antibody test non reactive
« Reply #32 on: March 28, 2017, 08:16:29 am »
Thank you both for your replies....Im sure the itching is just a side effect of the ramped up immune system...Ive always had sensitive skin...if my wife adds fabric softener to laundry my skin gets irritated....Ive just passed a huge hurdle which was on my mind since day 1...Fear of the unknown...what coinfections I may have....all seems in check and I am determined to eat and exercise in a more healthy manner...shame it took me to get infected with Hep c to start thinking this way. oh well. Have a great day.

Offline dragonslayer

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Re: HEP C RNA positive Antibody test non reactive
« Reply #33 on: March 28, 2017, 02:27:10 pm »
Severe itching caused by HCV is an uncommon reaction and is not at all related to cirrhosis. The itching caused by cirrhosis is completely different. I have experienced both.

However it is fairly common for those who have HCV to have much more pronounced reactions to common skin irritants. Again how HCV effects the immune system long term is the suspect. My nemesis is the myriad of volatile chemicals used to accelerate the solution in water of most laundry detergents. I walk by the laundry detergent isle in a supermarket and my skin starts to crawl and I start to sneeze. Certain brands can actually make my skin blister and over time crack and bleed. Having a hyped up immune system that over reacts to irritants seems to be the culprit in many of the secondary effects of long term HCV infection.

 

Mug, if you can, characterize the differences between HCV itching, and cirrhosis itching...
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 Mugwump

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Re: HEP C RNA positive Antibody test non reactive
« Reply #34 on: March 28, 2017, 05:27:20 pm »
Dragon, the itching that can accompany advancing cirrhosis is more painful and below the outer layers of the skin. An itch that you cannot scratch. It seems that the non clinical skin problems associated with HCV go well beyond what cirrhosis does to the skin. As early as 2000 there was a recommendation made that those with non classic symptoms of certain skin disorders be checked for HCV infection. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10965678

Caution shameless self promotion below :-)
https://www.hepmag.com/article/eric-reesor-27742-782589663
DING DONG MY DRAGON (HCV) IS FINALLY DEAD!

Offline Layla123

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Re: HEP C RNA positive Antibody test non reactive
« Reply #35 on: April 12, 2017, 10:58:31 am »
I'mmmmm baaaccckkk....Hello All, Happy Holidays to everyone celebrating today and this upcoming weekend!!!  So Ive just had a comprehensive blood test done...So here's where I'm at....and I have no clue what it means....I know AST & ALT will jump around so im not worried about this....AST = 27, ALT = 61...previously 23 and 34....

My confusion comes from these results:
HCV RNA, QN, REAL TIME PCR
HCV RNA IU/ml               <15 Detected H
HCV RNA, QN, PCR          <1.10 H

So does this mean I still have the virus? If I am understanding this correctly does it mean that the test they use does not measure below this level? and if so, how will I ever know if I am cleared.....Any thoughts? I may be way off in my interpretation...Thanks.

Offline Lynn K

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Re: HEP C RNA positive Antibody test non reactive
« Reply #36 on: April 12, 2017, 12:29:33 pm »
 It means you have a very low viral load less than 15 but you are weakly detected. When the test results show you are below the ability of the test to detect any virus the test will say "not detected". You will know you were free of hepatitis C 12 weeks after treatment when you retest and receive a "not detected" result.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2017, 12:34:00 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 Layla123

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Re: HEP C RNA positive Antibody test non reactive
« Reply #37 on: April 12, 2017, 03:18:54 pm »
Im hoping that this is all good news and that within the next month or so I'll have cleared this by myself and then continue to be clear for the next twelve weeks!!! I have an appt with liver doctor next week...Im hoping that he will say the same and that there will not be a need to treat at the 6 month mark.

Offline Lynn K

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Re: HEP C RNA positive Antibody test non reactive
« Reply #38 on: April 12, 2017, 04:09:13 pm »
Yes it is great news I forgot you were recently infected. So anyway when the viral load gets below 15 the test can't tell how many virus you still have but it does detect the virus as present but in a quantity less than 15 IU/mL

Once you see a result of either not detected or undetected (different labs use different terminology sometimes) and it stays that way for a period of time like at least 12 weeks I would think would be a good amount of time then you should be fine
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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Re: HEP C RNA positive Antibody test non reactive
« Reply #39 on: April 12, 2017, 11:22:25 pm »
Wonderful news - looks like you are on your way!
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 Layla123

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Re: HEP C RNA positive Antibody test non reactive
« Reply #40 on: April 21, 2017, 04:51:49 pm »
All...I hope you find this thread as interesting as I do....so I went to liver doctor on Monday. He had a younger doctor with him who was amazed...Said I was the first patient he had ever met that was beating the virus on their own...while being monitored. I guess most people who clear it on their own dont even know they have it and by the time it is diagnosed they only have antibodies but no virus....anyway, so the last time I posted my viral load was under 15, yet still positive...2 weeks later I tested and my ALT and AST were normal in the 20's..My load increased to 195 - still very low, but not clear yet. they also tested me for Hep A and B...negative for both with no exposure. They recommended that i be vaccinated...im 50 years old...what are your thoughts about being vaccinated now? Im also wondering...has anyone ever heard of someone with a viral load this low that just wont clear? Im wondering if my load were to remain this low, liver enzymes remaining normal...would they treat after say 7-8 months? Any thoughts?

Offline Lynn K

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Re: HEP C RNA positive Antibody test non reactive
« Reply #41 on: April 21, 2017, 06:30:28 pm »
 As far as being vaccinated there's no reason not to. After I was diagnosed with liver cirrhosis they had me get vaccinated for hepatitis A and hepatitis B as I had not been vaccinated previously.

 Unfortunately, if you continue to have a viral load after six months that is the definition of being chronically infected and you should treat to eradicate the hepatitis C virus as your body won't have been able to do it on its own. There are many people who have hepatitis C and liver enzyme tests in normal range.

Having any viral load after six months means you will need to be treated .
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 Layla123

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Re: HEP C RNA positive Antibody test non reactive
« Reply #42 on: May 25, 2017, 01:56:20 pm »
All, so on May 15th...almost 5 months after being infected with Hep C during a tattoo I tested "not detected: for Hep C"....Obviously this is a great relief, I know I need to wait 12 weeks to be "officially cleared of the virus"....but Im very happy to have beat this on my own so far to date....I would like to thank everyone for their knowledge and the many positive words of encouragement. This was a huge learning period for me, albeit, a stressful period as well. As most of you know who have tested positive, your long term success is almost guaranteed...cure rates today are in the high 90% range...I will stay connected as i test now on a monthly basis....I pray for all of you that you follow through and indeed rid yourself of this virus. All the best.

Offline lporterrn

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Re: HEP C RNA positive Antibody test non reactive
« Reply #43 on: May 25, 2017, 02:26:44 pm »
Sooooooo glad it worked out.
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/

 


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