Hepatitis C Antibody Test False +
I shared my story a few months ago but I just recently went to the doctors to get checked out and I have good news so I'll retell.
A few months ago I gave blood at a Red Cross blood drive. A week or so later I got a letter in the mail stating they didn't accept my blood because it tested positive for Hep C antibodies suggesting that I have or have had the virus. The second test they do for Hep C came back negative suggesting that my immune system may have eradicated the virus from my body (happens in ~20% of cases) or it just isn't present in a high enough amount to pick up. Needless to say this really frightened me as I have always been very careful about practicing safe sex and have never done drugs or received a blood transfusion. The Red Cross also included some information about Hep C and that false positives for these tests are possible but very uncommon. Basically I would have had to have a different virus in my system and the antibodies my body was using to fight it would have to be similarly reactive to the test they use.
Last week I visited my doctor and got a bunch of blood tests. Everything turned out normal and negative! Yay! I haven't contracted an incurable disease!
But it's good to know that if you have a cold or some other virus when donating blood you could test positive for Hep C! Thought I'd share my story. Maybe I'll save someone else from some serious anxiety!
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