[Question #6225] hep c question

17 months ago
Hi doctors; I have a question on Hep c.  I had protected vaginal intercourse with a csw at a massage parlor.  I took a HCV RNA NAA  qualitative test at four weeks which was negative. At that same time I took a hep c virus AB TEST that read less than 0.1 through lab Corp and it says anything under 0.9 is negative.  Here is the confusion. At 8 weeks I did same antibody test and it came back as 0.1 - why is it not less than 0.1?  Does this now mean I have some detectable antibodies? Having trouble getting a straight answer on this one.  Thanks for the time. How reliable was the rna test at four weeks as well.

Thank you for your service
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
17 months ago

It appears that you continue to worry about your exposure nearly two months ago, have now shifted your concerns to hepatitis C  This being the case, let me state emphatically that for all practical purposes, hepatitis C is NOT an STI for persons exposed through heterosexual vaginal intercourse  The vast majority of hepatitis C infections are the result of parental (injection) drug use  On the RARE occasions when the infection results from sexual exposure, it is associated with anal sex  If this question relates to the exposure you have interacted with Dr Handsfield and I over the past 6 weeks, it is misplaced 

As for your question- negative is negative  Baseline levels of antibodies meant to detect antibodies (to HCV or anything else) fluctuate within the negative range  Thus a value that is less than 01 on one occasion and is 01 on  subsequent test is still negative, the difference in values representing well described day-to-day variation of no consequence  It is past time for you to stop testing for STIs of any sort related to the exposure you have been posting about  You were not infected

I hope this statement is helpful  EWH

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