Question: Will I always test positive for hep C?

A reactive or positive antibody test means you have been infected with the hepatitis C virus at some point in time. Once people have been infected, they will always have antibodies in their blood. This is true if they have cleared the virus, have been cured, or still have the virus in their blood.

Do hep C antibodies go away?

HCV antibodies can persist up to 20 years after resolution of clinical infection, suggesting that the virus and its antigens may persist, but at extremely low levels.

Can you test negative for Hep C and still have it?

Can you have a false negative anti-HCV test result? Yes. Persons with early infection may not as yet have developed antibody levels high enough that the test can measure. In addition, some persons may lack the (immune) response necessary for the test to work well.

Can you donate blood if you have Hep C antibodies?

No, you cannot donate blood if you ever had hepatitis C, even if you spontaneously cleared the virus or if you were successfully cured with medication.

Can Hep C antibodies go away on its own?

Can hepatitis C go away on its own? Yes. From 15% to 20% of people with hep C clear it from their bodies without treatment. Its more likely to happen in women and people who have symptoms.

What does it mean when you have Hep C antibodies?

A reactive or positive antibody test means you have been infected with the hepatitis C virus at some point in time. Once people have been infected, they will always have antibodies in their blood. This is true if they have cleared the virus, have been cured, or still have the virus in their blood.

How did I get hep C antibodies?

Antibodies are chemicals released into the bloodstream when someone gets infected. Test results can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to come back. Rapid anti-HCV tests are available in some health clinics and the results of these tests are available in 20 to 30 minutes.

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