Aa
Aa
A
A
A
Close
Avatar universal

Should I diclose my reactive Hep C test to my housemates?

Hi all!

I recently got tested for Hep C due to a concern for possible exposure. My HCV antibody test was "reactive," however my HCV RNA test came back with "not detected." I am getting tested again to be sure, however, I pretty much trust the HCV RNA test.

So, I am wondering if I should disclose my former test result to family and housemates. I am currently not infected as the results indicate but I am worried that I was before and might have exposed them to Hep C.

Specifically, I live with friends and share a bathroom with one of them. I pop pimples in the shower and rinse random small cuts we all get in every day life. I do menstruate but I don't think I've ever left a trail of blood in our bathroom that would be a concern.

I am quite an anxious person in general, so I am careful to move forward because it often clouds my judgement and not in my favor. I've obsessively cleaned our bathroom and other shared areas and it's been quite stressful. I don't want to cause concern if it is not needed. However, I also do not want to be negligent or get in trouble for not disclosing when I should have.

What do you all think? Should I share with them my "reactive" test? Or it is not necessary?

Thank you so much for the help, this community has helped me navigate the uncertainties and has educated me greatly!
4 Responses
683231 tn?1467323017
Ok first up you should never have taken a hep c antibody test. The results of this test is already known. You will fit the test of your life test positive for hepatitis c antibodies this will never change, once a person is he posed to hepatitis c they will always test positive for hepatitis c antibodies.

If you should experience a risk of exposure like sharing IV drug needles you should then only have the HCV RNA by PCR test that tests fir the actual virus. This is the only way to know if you are currently infected. I’ve no idea why any doctor who is aware of your medical history would order a hep c antibody test.
683231 tn?1467323017
For risk of infection hep c is not highly transmissible in a household setting unless you are sharing personal hygiene items like toothbrushes, razors or fingernail clippers which could create a very small risk of transmission. The greatest risk is if you are using IV drugs and sharing needles.

Your reactive antibody test is meaningless all it shows is you were exposed to hep c at sometime in the past. Only having a test for the actual virus the HCV RNA by PCR or similar that shows you are currently infected. Having positive antibodies is not a current infection. Your test results show you have nothing to transmit.
683231 tn?1467323017
From the US CDC

“ Transmission / Exposure
How is hepatitis C spread?
The hepatitis C virus is usually spread when someone comes into contact with blood from an infected person. This can happen through:

►Sharing drug-injection equipment.

Today, most people become infected with hepatitis C by sharing needles, syringes, or any other equipment used to prepare and inject drugs.

►Birth.

Approximately 6% of infants born to infected mothers will get hepatitis C.

►Healthcare exposures.

Although uncommon, people can become infected when health-care professionals do not follow the proper steps needed to prevent the spread of bloodborne infections.

►Sex with an infected person.

While uncommon, hepatitis C can spread during sex, though it has been reported more often among men who have sex with men.

►Unregulated tattoos or body piercings.

Hepatitis C can spread when getting tattoos or body piercings in unlicensed facilities, informal settings, or with
non-sterile instruments.

►Sharing personal items.

People can get infected from sharing glucose monitors, razors, nail clippers, toothbrushes, and other items that may have come into contact with infected blood, even in amounts too small to see.

►Blood transfusions and organ transplants.

Before widespread screening of the blood supply in 1992, hepatitis C was also spread through blood transfusions and organ transplants. Now, the risk of transmission to recipients of blood or blood products is extremely low.

Hepatitis C is not spread by sharing eating utensils, breastfeeding, hugging, kissing, holding hands, coughing, or sneezing. It is also not spread through food or water.”
683231 tn?1467323017
What was your concerning exposure? Did you experience a situation where hep c infected blood could have entered your blood stream?
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Hepatitis C Community

Top Hepatitis Answerers
317787 tn?1473358451
DC
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
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.
In You Can Prevent a Stroke, Dr. Joshua Yamamoto and Dr. Kristin Thomas help us understand what we can do to prevent a stroke.