Interpreting Hcv Rna Test Results
It is essential that the provider understands how to interpret HCV RNA test results, especially during the course of HCV treatment.
|Result of HCV RNA Test||Interpretation|
|A quantified viral load any exact number||Ongoing HCV infection|
|Detected||The HCV RNA is detectable but the number of international units is so low that it cannot be quantified accurately. This indicates extremely low level of virus is present.|
|< 12 IU/mL or < 15 IU/mL or < 25 IU/mL All of these are less than the LLOQ||HCV RNA is undetectable. No virus is detected at all in the patients serum specimen.|
Test For Hepatitis C At Home
Hepatitis C is a virus that can infect the liver.
Some people who are infected with hepatitis C get better without treatment. But for most people, the virus stays in the body unless it is treated and cured. Without treatment, it can eventually cause serious liver damage which can sometimes be life-threatening.
Getting A Hepatitis C Test From Your Doctor
Ideally, you should talk with a doctor about hepatitis C screening. Theyll ask you about any potential exposures or risk factors and will probably order a blood test to check for HCV antibodies. You can get your blood tested anywhere that does routine blood work.
Its the same procedure as getting a routine blood test.
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- whether they provide help interpreting your results
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All companies on the list also state they use accredited labs to process their testing kits.
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Are Std Tests Accurate
Most modern STD tests are very accurate. Still, test accuracy varies depending on the type of sample collected and the test detection method.
Traditional in-office tests are more accurate than online-only tests, and home-to-lab tests are more accurate than self-collected ones. But both are highly efficient.
How Hepatitis C Is Passed On
Hepatitis C is usually transmitted through blood to blood contact. This could be sharing needles when injecting drugs, a cut that comes into contact with infected blood, using unsterilised equipment for tattooing or body piercing, or sharing razors or toothbrushes contaminated with infected blood or bodily fluids.
It can be transmitted through unprotected sex. This is rare and can be prevented if you use a condom.
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Hepatitis C Antibody Blood Test With Reflex On Positives
Assess exposure to hepatitis C virus infection and tests blood safety.
Also Known As: HCV, Hep C.
Preparation: No fasting required. Stop biotin consumption at least 72 hours prior to the collection.
Test Results: 2-3 days. May take longer based on weather, holiday or lab delays.
Role Of Hcv Core Antigen In A Blood Bank/organ Donor Setting
As outlined above, the sensitivity of HCV core antigen is inferior to HCV RNA, but superior to no testing. Thus, in a resource limited setting, where HCV RNA testing might be impossible due to cost restrains at present, HCV core antigen testing would allow for a compromise.
Given the cost of organ transplantation, HCV RNA testing cost is unlikely to be a rate limiting step, and therefore not likely to be relevant to organ donation. Still if currently no HCV RNA testing is performed, HCV core antigen might be better than no testing for infectivity.
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What Can Cause The Levels To Rise
There is no evidence that medications, vitamins, and supplements can have any effect on the test results of the hepatitis C antibody test. Some tests may indicate a false positive. This means that your test shows that you are infected but you are not. People who recovered from a past infection make sure positive results. In that case, a follow up viral load test is recommended. A false positive result affects only three percent of all tested people. But, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , 35% of low risk individuals can get false positive results when it comes to hepatitis C.
Who Should Not Take The Test
The Hepatitis C Test is not intended for certain people or only in special circumstances:
This test is not intended to officially diagnose you with a hepatitis C infection. If you still suffer from symptoms, consult your family doctor, dermatologist, or your urologist.
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Types Of Hepatitis C Testing At Home Kits
Its certainly possible to order a hepatitis C test alone. This may be preferred if you have had a known exposure to this virus, and you only want to test for this one virus.
However, if you have risk factors, then you may want to consider testing for other types of diseases as well. If you use injection drugs or engage in blood play, then testing for HIV as well as HCV is probably a good idea. You may want to test for hepatitis B virus too. If you have sex outside of a mutually monogamous relationship , then you may want to test for other STDs as well, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, and trichomoniasis.
Here are the four testing services that we usually recommend:
Book Your Private Instant Hepatitis C Test
Speak to a Better2Know sexual health advisor today by contacting us directly using the number displayed at the top of the page. We are happy to answer any additional questions as well as arranging your confidential appointment for a time and date that suits you. Alternatively, you can book online at any time.
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Hepatitis C Reflex Testing
To ensure complete and timely diagnosis of HCV, HCV reflex testing is recommended following a reactive hepatitis C antibody screening test. Reflex testing means the laboratory will perform the hepatitis C antibody test, and if the result is positive, the laboratory will immediately perform an HCV RNA test on the same specimen. If the subsequent HCV RNA test is negative, HCV infection is effectively ruled out for most patients. If the reflex HCV RNA test is positive, a diagnosis of active HCV infection has been confirmed, and the individual should be referred directly for HCV care and treatment.
Reflex testing obviates the need for the patient to return for follow-up testing should the initially HCV antibody test be reactive. If the RNA test is negative, the work-up is done, and the patient may be reassured.
- Rationale for reflex testing:
Your Instant Hepatitis C Testing Process
Better2Knows experienced sexual health advisors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for your convenience. They will listen to your circumstances, concerns and help you select the sexual health test or screen that most suits your requirements. Your call and appointment are completely confidential. You do not have to give us your real name at any time, and we will not share your results with anyone without your consent.
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How Accurate Are The Sti Tests
Our simple home test kits are highly accurate when you:
wait the recommended window period before you test
follow the kit instructions carefully
complete additional tests in a clinic setting, if recommended by our clinicians.
Your samples are sent to our partner laboratory to be processed by specialist technicians. We use similar tests that are used by many NHS clinics.
If you are experiencing any STI symptoms, you should visit your local sexual health clinic for further testing and examination.
What Happens If I Get A Positive Hepatitis C Test Result
If your hepatitis C test is positive, we will give you details of local services that can help you with treatment and advice.
You should see your GP or a sexual health clinic for advice and treatment. You can show them your online test result or print it out.
Modern treatments can cure more than 9 in 10 people. Treatment wont stop you from getting hepatitis C again in the future.
Current or recent sexual partners and any people that you live with may need to be tested for hepatitis C. Sexual health services may be able to help you contact partners anonymously and can discuss how you can avoid passing on the virus.
How confidential is my hepatitis C test?
Our service is completely confidential. We wont tell anyone else about your hepatitis C test and we dont share your results with anyone else.
If your hepatitis C test is positive, you will need to share your result with your GP or a sexual health clinic to be able to access advice and treatment if you need it.
All our tests are delivered in plain packaging.
We have procedures in place to keep your data secure. See our FAQs for more information.
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Usability Of Hcv Self
Overall, 96 participants were able to complete the HCV self-test, and 54% completed all steps correctly without assistance and interpreted the results correctly. Forty-four percent made an error during at least one testing step . Four steps were conducted correctly by all participants, including opening the pouch, reading the instructions during the testing, removing the test tube from the test pack, and removing the cap from the test tube. The most frequently observed errors were not using a time-keeping device , not reading the results between 20 and 40 mins , and touching the flat pad . In addition, a small proportion collected samples incorrectly , and had difficulty placing the test device in the test tube . The majority of participants interpreted the test results correctly. The most frequently observed difficulty was sliding the tube into the stand , followed by opening the tube . Assistance was provided to a minority of individuals when sliding the tube into the stand and reading the results .
Table 2. Observer assessment of successful steps, difficulties, and steps requiring assistance among MSM, an observational study in China, 2019.
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Treatment For Hepatitis C
In the past decade, rapid progress has been made in the development of specialized drugs to treat hepatitis C infections. In particular, direct-acting antivirals have made it possible to cure HCV infections in an estimated 90% of casesâeven among those who have cirrhosis. For many people infected with HCV and who have cirrhosis, curing the infection can help prevent further damage to the liver.
A number of treatment strategies also exist for people who have developed liver cancer as a result of HCV, including surgical removal of the tumor and liver transplantation. Regardless of the treatment method, however, early diagnosis of liver cancer is key because medical intervention may not be effective in the cancerâs advanced stages.
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Instant Hepatitis C Test
Better2Knows instant Hepatitis C test provides you with confidential STI testing with fast, accurate results. Our private instant STI testing services are available at selected private sexual health clinics across the UK. Hepatitis C infections usually do not cause symptoms in the first years following infection. Around 200,000 people in the UK have Hepatitis C and do not know their status. There are usually no symptoms in the early stages of infection, and they can take years to become apparent. Symptoms can include feeling tired for no reason, muscle pain, joint pain and fever. If you are worried that you may have Hepatitis C from unprotected sex or sharing needles, even if this was years ago, then please get tested to prevent long term damage to your health.
When To Test For Hepatitis C
If you think youve been exposed to hepatitis C or have symptoms, visit your GP or a sexual health clinic immediately for advice. Getting treatment early is the best way to prevent the infection from spreading.
Most tests are accurate at 12 weeks after sexual contact, but it can take up to 9 months for an infection to show up accurately in a test.
If you are not sure when you might have been exposed, do a test now, and another test in 9 months. Our clinicians can help you work out when to test again once youve placed your order.
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What Does The Test Measure
At-home hepatitis C test kits can check a blood sample for HCV antibodies.
After HCV is contracted, the body begins to develop hepatitis C antibodies. HCV antibodies are proteins produced by the immune system and released into the blood in order to combat the hepatitis C virus. A detectable level of antibodies usually develops 8 to 11 weeks after infection and then remains detectable for life, even if the virus has been cured or cleared from the body.
Hepatitis C is diagnosed as acute or chronic. Acute hepatitis C describes the first six months after a person contracts HCV. During this period, the immune system begins to mount a response in order to clear the virus from the body. In a minority of patients with acute hepatitis C, the body can clear the infection without treatment.
Unfortunately, most patients who arent treated develop a long-lasting infection called chronic hepatitis C. In chronic hepatitis C, the virus is able to evade the bodys immune response. A diagnosis of chronic hepatitis C is confirmed by detecting both hepatitis C antibodies and HCV RNA six or more months after the initial infection.
Risk Factors For Hepatitis C
You are at a greater risk of having the hepatitis C virus if you:
- Are a current or former injection drug user
- Are on dialysis for kidney failure
- Are HIV positive
- Have a mother with hepatitis C
- Have undergone body modification without the use of sterile instruments
- Received a blood transfusion or organ donation before 1992, or clotting factor replacement therapy before 1987
- Were born between 1945 and 1965
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that anyone born between 1945 and 1965 take a hepatitis C antibody test at least once. If you have never done testing for the hepatitis C virus, our at-home hep C test makes it easy to collect a small sample of blood from the convenience of home and send it to a lab for testing. Our HCV antibody test, sometimes called an anti-HCV test, checks if the infection is present in your body by looking for antibodies released by the immune system in response to the hepatitis C virus.
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Who Is At Risk For Hep C
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , the most at-risk groups for hep C include :
- Current or former injection drug users
- People with HIV infection, which makes transmission of the drug through lower immune system function more likely
- People who share razors or toothbrushes
- People who have unprotected sex, especially with STDs such as herpes, which can cause open sores
- Babies born to mothers infected with the hepatitis C virus
- Healthcare workers who suffer a needlestick accident, in which they prick themselves with an infected syringe
- People who go to unregulated tattoo parlors
People who contract the virus first suffer acute hepatitis C, with symptoms such as fever, fatigue, dark urine, clay-colored stool, nausea and abdominal pain, loss of appetite, joint pain, vomiting and jaundice. If you see any of these signs, its time to get tested immediately. Unfortunately, these symptoms tend to pass within a few weeks, leading many people to dismiss them. Moreover, adds the CDC, only 20-30 percent of people who get infected even manifest such symptoms.
From there, the disease goes into a long latent period, usually of decades. Eventually they develop chronic hepatitis C, which can lead to loss of liver function and eventually death, if left untreated. Sadly, the disease is transmitted more frequently than we would like.
Best Budget: Letsgetchecked Hepatitis B& c Test
LetsGetChecked Hepatitis B& C Test
Reviews mention late tests
Reports of difficulties with account activation
LetsGetChecked offers a 30% discount with a three-month subscription, making this test a steal. The finger prick test not only tests for hepatitis C, but hepatitis B as well, also a blood-borne virus that also targets the liver.
First, activate your test and collect your sample in the morning. You can use the prepaid label to ship your sample out on the same day.
Once the sample reaches the laboratory, your results will be available via a secured online account: It typically takes two to five business days. Once you get your results, if you have questions or concerns, a team of nurses is available 24/7 to assist you. LetsGetChecked will call to explain the results and provide next steps, such as treatment options.
Usually, with a one-time purchase, the test costs about $79. You can save more if you subscribe, and you’ll get tests sent to you every few months.
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