Hepatitis C Testing
Hepatitis C is spread through infected blood. Initial standard tests usually commence with a blood test using an enzyme immunoassay to identify if antibodies to Hepatitis C are present. If they are, it indicates only that the body was exposed to the virus at some time in the past, and not necessarily that the virus itself remains in the body. This is why subsequent testing is vital if the exposure risk was high, or a positive result was returned. Antibody tests cannot be conclusive within 6-7 weeks of infection. Sadly there is currently no cure for Hepatitis C. The risk of exposure from blood to blood contact remains, as even a hepatitis c vaccine for children has yet to be developed. Encouragingly though, the risk of hepatitis c transmission pregnancy is only around 5%, and hepatitis c transmission kissing is thought to be very small indeed.
Hepatitis C Testing After Exposure
Following suspected exposure to the virus, for example from infected hepatitis c dirty needles, the body can produce antibodies as early as 2 weeks later, but it can usually take up to 6 or 7 weeks for these to be sufficiently numerous for tests to be considered accurate. For critical early detection where there has been a known exposure risk, more complex tests can be employed, including RNA (Ribonucleic Acid) PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) testing that looks for the presence of genetic Hepatitis C material in the blood cells. This can be done with accuracy within 1-2 weeks following infection.
Hepatitis C Tests
Depending on your circumstances a Hepatitis C test may be requested urgently following obvious and very recent risk of infection, or as a standard enquiry based on certain symptoms and a history that may suggest the possibility that exposure has occurred. In the former case, RNA testing is usually required, and this must be done under qualified medical supervision. In the latter case, antibody testing can be done at home, or via a sample taken at home that is then processed by a lab. Requesting a sample from KwikMed (who are licensed in the US to provide this service), is as straightforward as creating an online Kwikmed account and partaking in a brief consultation with a physician who will assess your request based on your medical history. After a prescription has been given, taking the printed requisition form in person to your local lab will allow them to take the necessary bloods to send for analysis. Your results will be available online after only a few days. The whole process is simple, easy and quick.
Hepatitis C Test Results How Long
With the KwikMed antibody test it takes only 1 week from initial request to the results being available, and you have the confidence that the sample taken for analysis was done in a sanitized medical environment by a qualified healthcare professional, thus minimizing any risk of contamination or a rupture in the required procedure. Other home tests offer results within hours, and whilst this may be attractive, be aware that any first line tests must be followed up with further tests to 100% confirm your status in respect of the virus. If you take the test too soon for example, insufficient antibodies may result in a false negative result.
Hepatitis Test Results Reactive
If the results of your Hepatitis C test were Reactive, this means that you have tested positive for the virus and will need treatment. The Hepatitis C virus is complex and has many different strains, each requiring specific modes of treatment. Clinical treatments such as those employed to combat hepatitis c symptoms mayo clinic, typically use a detailed hepatitis c treatment algorithm to determine the correct course of action. Your hepatitis c prognosis will depend on many influencing factors, including pre-existing liver disease, and how long the Hepatitis C has remained undetected in your body.