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Author Topic: Hep C questions  (Read 5201 times)

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Offline Scaredypants

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Hep C questions
« on: February 15, 2018, 03:23:50 pm »
Hi. I'm new here. I just had a positive Elisa antibody test 2days ago for Hep C. I went in today for my second test, Hcv-RNA, to check it again??

I'm a bit confused on how I could have contracted Hep C. I've never used any type of I.V. Drugs, only smoked weed. I've never had a blood transfusion. I have worked in the healcare feild with individuals with developmental disabilities, but I've had the Hep B vaccine (ppl had hep b, not c there). I've been in two monogamous relationships in the last 16 years. I'm currently married and have 1stepchild, 1bio child, and am 10 weeks pregnant. My husband was always a blood donor, and doesn't have Hep C. I've called the doctor who delivered my 7 year old daughter, to see if they tested me for hep C during my pregnancy, but they didn't. I'm very worried about how long I could have been infected, and if I may have passed it to my husband or children! I realize it's passed from blood to blood contact, but I've never had any blood to blood contact with anyone, and I've tested positive! The only person I know that has Hep C, is my husband's Aunt, who lived with us for a few months in 2016. I know she was always careful, and used bleach after she used the bathroom, so, I find it unlikely that I got it from her.
So, how does someone in a "low risk" category get Hep C???
How long will it take to get my lab results for the RNA test back?
Also, when I had my blood drawn today, the phlebotomist told me that "you can give yourself Hep C if you cut yourself with your razor, even if you don't have hep c" basically she said the blood on your razor can grow hep c on its own. I really don't think that's true, it can't be, right? You must be infected by someone who actually has the HCV virus.

Sorry for the long post, any answers or opinions would be greatly appreciated! I'm very nervous. Thanks in advance!

Offline Lynn K

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Re: Hep C questions
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2018, 08:30:09 pm »
Ok yeah the phlebotomist was totally incorrect on that. Hep c infected blood must enter the blood stream of an uninfected person to transmit infection. The most common routes are either by IV drug use or transfusion prior to 1990 when testing was developed and the blood supply secured.

You have had an antibody test which is basically to screen for possible infection. The next test you had was the HCV RNA by PCR which looks for the presence of the virus itself in your blood stream. There are situations which can cause a false positive on the antibody test. Also about 25% of people are able to beat the virus on their own.

It is still entirely possible you do not have hep c.

Antibodies are not the virus they are made by your body in response to an invading virus. Antibodies are a part of your own bodies defense mechanism they are a part of you.

Hep c is not considered to be a sexually transmitted illness we have many folks here where one partner has hep c while the other does not. Risk does increase for those who have multiple sex partners or who engage in rough sex practices and those folks should use barrier protection to decrease their risk. Vertical transmission (mother to baby) during birth is rare at about 5% but at this point you don’t know you have hep c.

There are also a percentage of people with no known risk who have hep c.

Here is an article about hep c testing:
https://www.hepmag.com/article/false-test-result-25760-476718382

“False Positives:

A false positive occurs when the ELISA test comes up positive for hep C antibodies, but the person taking the test was never exposed to hep C virus, which leads the RNA test to read as negative. 

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.

Those who test false positive, regardless of the reason, will likely continue to do so for the duration of their lives. So in the event of future hep C exposure, an RNA test will be needed to accurately diagnose an infection. Major risk factors for contracting hep C include: injection drug use, including steroids; the sharing of needles, syringes or other injection materials; needlestick injuries in a health care setting; tattoos or piercings performed with non-sterilized equipment; and condomless sex among HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM).

There is also always the rare possibility of lab error leading to a false positive or a false negative test result.”

So all you can do for now is wait for your HCV RNA test results to get back but I am betting you are not infected.

Even if you do learn you have hep c treatments today are much more effective and better tolerated than those that were in use a few years ago. Your treatment could be as simple as 1 pill a day for as few as 8 or 12 weeks and you would be cured.

Best of luck to you
let us know what you find out
« Last Edit: February 15, 2018, 08:44:40 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 Scaredypants

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Re: Hep C questions
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2018, 08:41:32 pm »
Thank you for your reply, Lynn K! I'm feeling slightly less nervous now! I know having Hep C isn't a death sentence, I just worry about my family members being infected somehow. I also worry that if I am positive for help c, people will avoid me, or judge me, you know? I don't want my kids to be afraid of me! I'm praying for a negative RNA, but I know, either way, everything will be okay. Thanks again for responding!

Offline Lynn K

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Re: Hep C questions
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2018, 08:48:25 pm »
Hep c transmission within a household is rare. Sadly there is stigma attached to hepatitis c infection but being a health care worker you do have an explanation. Many people do try to keep their infection to themselves or only close friends and family.

For health care professionals

https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hcv/hcvfaq.htm

For the general public

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

« Last Edit: February 15, 2018, 08:51:45 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 Scaredypants

  • Member
  • Posts: 5
Re: Hep C questions
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2018, 12:48:52 pm »
Hi there, I just got a call from my doctor. The results were negative for hep C! I'm very relieved. I asked if they thought that I might have had hep C in the past, and cleared it myself, and they said that they didn't think I ever had it. But how can they know that for sure? I'm basically wondering if maybe I did have it, and cleared it. I had a daughter via C-section in feb. 2011. I had never been tested before now, so I just wonder if I did have it, would I have passed it to my daughter during delivery? Is there really a way of knowing for sure that I never had hep c? Or are they just assuming that I never had it?
Thanks!

Offline Lynn K

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  • Get tested, get treated, get cured, fight Hep c!
Re: Hep C questions
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2018, 06:30:55 pm »
“I asked if they thought that I might have had hep C in the past, and cleared it myself, and they said that they didn't think I ever had it. But how can they know that for sure?”
They really can’t just an educated guess because you have no risk factors.

“I'm basically wondering if maybe I did have it, and cleared it. I had a daughter via C-section in feb. 2011.”
Instruments are sterilized and if you needed transfusion the blood supply has been secure since 1990 when antibody testing became available. Not a risk.

“I had never been tested before now, so I just wonder if I did have it, would I have passed it to my daughter during delivery?”
Doubtful only a 5% risk for vaginal delivery less for c section.

Is there really a way of knowing for sure that I never had hep c?
No, there is not. Was your SCo on the low side? This increases the possibility you had a false positive.

Or are they just assuming that I never had it?
Yes likely because you don’t have risk factors.
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 Scaredypants

  • Member
  • Posts: 5
Re: Hep C questions
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2018, 08:31:36 pm »
I'm not sure what an SCo is? They didn't give me any details, except that the test was negative.

Offline Lynn K

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  • Posts: 4,542
  • Get tested, get treated, get cured, fight Hep c!
Re: Hep C questions
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2018, 08:48:17 pm »
Signal to cut off the number associated with the antibody test basically how strong of a positive.

https://www.mayomedicallaboratories.com/test-catalog/Clinical+and+Interpretive/113121

Interpretation
Chemiluminescence Immunoassay:
Reactive hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibody screening results with signal-to-cutoff (S/CO) ratios of below 8.0 are not predictive of the true HCV antibody status and additional testing is recommended to confirm anti-HCV status. Reactive results with S/CO ratios of 8.0 or greater are highly predictive (95% or greater probability) of the true anti-HCV status, but additional testing is needed to differentiate between past (resolved) and chronic hepatitis C.

A single negative HCV RNA result with positive HCV antibody status (assay signal-to-cutoff ratio of 3.8 or greater by EIA, or 8.0 or greater by chemiluminescence immunoassay), does not necessarily indicate past or resolved HCV infection.

You can always ask for a copy of your test results they are your tests
« Last Edit: February 20, 2018, 08:53:49 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 Lynn K

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 4,542
  • Get tested, get treated, get cured, fight Hep c!
Re: Hep C questions
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2018, 08:58:29 pm »
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 Scaredypants

  • Member
  • Posts: 5
Re: Hep C questions
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2018, 09:00:19 pm »
I'll ask for copies of the results.
Thanks for all of your help!

Offline Lynn K

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  • Posts: 4,542
  • Get tested, get treated, get cured, fight Hep c!
Re: Hep C questions
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2018, 09:10:23 pm »
I tend to agree with your doctors you probably never had hep c.

Congrats on not having to deal with getting treated and being free of hep c.
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!

 


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