Hepatitis C Antibody Blood Test
A Hepatitis C Antibody Blood Test is used to assess exposure to Hepatitis C virus infection and tests blood safety.
Hepatitis C is a liver disease that is caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Hepatitis C is a bloodborne disease and exposure to the blood of an infected person may result in infection. Abnormal results may require further evaluation by your physician.
This test is used for detecting antibodies to Hepatitis C virus. Since a person with past infection will have a life long antibody response, confirmed positive antibody tests mean that at the person had been exposed to the virus at one time or another. This test is extremely effective in ruling out HCV. The most up to date EIA is capable of antibody detection as early as six-eight weeks. Though a negative test at this time can be extremely useful, it is best to wait about three months to avoid the need for a follow up test.
Since as many as 90% of commercial intravenous immunoglobulins test positive for hepatitis C antibody, an artifactual positive can result briefly after transfusion.
In August 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued final guidance recommending that all people born during 1945-1965 be tested for Hepatitis C virus (HCV). An analysis of 1999-2008 National Health and Nurtrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data found that 1 in 30 baby boomers is infected with HCV. Plus, baby boomers account for approximately 75% of HCV prevalence in the US. Many were infected before there was any awarenses of HCV or how it is transmitted. Furthermore, most are asymptoatic and often unaware of their infection until significant complications from chronic HCV arise.
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