Avatar universal

HVC test.

Should I retake a HCV RNA Qual test if it came back undetected? I called the lab that ordered the test and I was told I got the highest accuracy, but I’ve read on the forum that I should retake the test at 6 months? Test was taken 1.5 months after exposure.
6 Responses
683231 tn?1467323017
The hep c antibody test is accurate after 12 weeks but it can take up to 6 months to be sure of hep c antibody test results if the patient has a compromised immune system for example in the presence of HIV.

The test you had is the HCV RNA test that looks for the presence of the hepatitis c virus not hepatitis C antibodies.

The HCV RNA test is accurate in a much shorter time. Normally a person who has had a positive antibody test is then tested with the HCV RNA to confirm if the person is currently infected or only possibly exposed at some point in the past.

The HCV RNA test is definitive . If you had a not detected result on a HCV RNA test you do not have hepatitis C. No additional testing is needed.
The qualitative Is it valid at anytime to see if infection is present?
683231 tn?1467323017
From google medical news today article first hit:

“While it can take an average of 6 to 8 weeks after a hepatitis C infection for antibodies to be detected, it may only take 1 week to detect the virus directly by using PCR or other means of direct virus detection”

So yes the HCV RNA by PCR test is conclusive after one week.

The HCV RNA by PCR test is much more expensive to perform than the hepatitis C antibody test so normally the antibody test is run first and if the result is positive then the HCV RNA test is performed next to confirm current infection.

Did you have a potential risk where hepatitis c infected blood could have entered your blood stream through a fresh wet open injury?
is it really definitive this post says if it’s negative take the test again https://www.hepatitis.va.gov/patient/faqs/positive-test-results.asp
I see it saying if you test positive for antibodies you will need a second different test the HCV TNA by PCR test that looks for the actual virus to confirm if you are currently infected.

I not see anything about needing to retest a negative antibody test

Q: If I get tested for hepatitis C and the result is positive, do I need any other tests to be sure?

When your doctor wants to test you for hepatitis C, the first test you will have is the hepatitis C antibody (anti-HCV). If this test is positive, it means you were infected with the hepatitis C virus at some point in the past. But this test alone is not enough. You will still need another test (called HCV RNA) to confirm if you still have the hepatitis C virus in your system. About 1 out of 5 people who get infected with hepatitis C will be able get the rid of the virus on their own, without treatment, very early after their infection. So some people will have a positive antibody test, but a negative HCV RNA (no virus in their bloodstream).
So, the second test that your doctor should request is called hepatitis C virus RNA or HCV RNA test. There are several different tests available to check the HCV RNA. What matters is that if the RNA test is positive, then you do have chronic hepatitis C virus infection. If the RNA test is negative, then you may need to have this test again to be sure. If these RNA tests are all negative, then you no longer have hepatitis C infection and do not have chronic hepatitis C.”
They are saying
If you have a positive ANTIBODY test and then next test with the HCV RNA test

And the HCV RNA test is not detected THEN you should retest the HCV RNA test just to be sure.

BUT this would only apply if you have a POSITIVE ANTIBODY TEST

If you have a negative test at 12 weeks post a concerning exposure and you have a normal immune system no additional testing is required.
20857205 tn?1543309315
Avatar universal
Any possibility of a false negative after 1/2 half months after exposure? Close to 2 months
If you are asking about the HCV RNA by PCR test..no

As I already posted above the HCV RNA by PCR test is valid after one week.

If you are asking about the hep c antibody test it can take up to 12 weeks for your body to develop enough antibodies to reach detectable levels. If the person has a compromised immune system say for example in the presence of HIV it can take as long as 6 months  for the body to develop sufficient antibodies to achieve detectable levels.

I am only a lay person a patient who had hep c for many years. I have no medical training. This forum is mostly for people infected with hep c, currently undergoing treatment, or living with the aftermath of years of infection and multiple treatments. This forum is a support group. We cannot offer medical advice or opinion only share our own experiences.

In other words if you are seeking medical advice, guidance, information, or diagnosis you should ask a medical professional rather than a patient support group.

If you think you maybe infected ask your doctor and then believe what your doctor says.
Avatar universal
This is just a forum not a chat room people come and people go. I could take days for a response.
Avatar universal
Trust me I’ve went to a doctor and negative at 12 weeks antibody said is reassuring but reading these online forms online saying 6 months has me confused doctor knew nothing about pcr test
The six months would be if your immune system is compromised it can take up to six months for your body to produce enough antibodies to achieve detectable levels. Immune compromised for example if you have full blown AIDS or are undergoing chemo therapy.

If you are not immune compromised 12 weeks is long enough for a person with a normal immune system to creat enough antibodies.

Any test before 12 weeks is a waste of time.

If you want to worry about this until the 6 month post incident and re test then of course that is your option.

Hep c is not any kind of medical emergency if you had a potential risk of hepatitis c infected blood entering your blood stream like sharing of IV needles or other manner of forcing hepatitis c blood into your blood stream simply get tested at 12 weeks post exposure unless you have AIDS, cancer or are otherwise clinically immune compromised then wait 6 months. If at those cut offs you are negative for hepatotis C antibodies  you don’t have hepatitis C
I would believe your doctor a trained medical expert over un trained strangers in chat rooms and forums.

I have zero medical training my knowledge comes from seeing doctors for 20 years of infection with hep c and reading a lot of medical information from the AASLD (The American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases),  JAMA ( Journal of the American Medical  Association), The Mayo Clinic, The University of Washington liver department, etc...
so basically I am a well read on one medical subject machinist.

Believe your doctor
I will stay off the net, and test again in 6 months for peace of mind thanks for you time and comments.
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Hepatitis C Community

Top Hepatitis Answerers
317787 tn?1473358451
683231 tn?1467323017
Auburn, WA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Answer a few simple questions about your Hep C treatment journey.

Those who qualify may receive up to $100 for their time.
Explore More In Our Hep C Learning Center
image description
Learn about this treatable virus.
image description
Getting tested for this viral infection.
image description
3 key steps to getting on treatment.
image description
4 steps to getting on therapy.
image description
What you need to know about Hep C drugs.
image description
How the drugs might affect you.
image description
These tips may up your chances of a cure.
Popular Resources
Chlamydia, an STI, often has no symptoms, but must be treated.
For people with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), the COVID-19 pandemic can be particularly challenging.
A list of national and international resources and hotlines to help connect you to needed health and medical services.
Here’s how your baby’s growing in your body each week.
These common ADD/ADHD myths could already be hurting your child
This article will tell you more about strength training at home, giving you some options that require little to no equipment.