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    Hepatitis C antibodies: no virus
    MojoPin01 posted:
    I recently tested positive in an initial screen for hepatitis C. They did a secondary test to check for the active virus and the test came back negative for PCR's. This means that I do not have the active virus, but that I was exposed to it at some point. My understanding is that this means that at anytime, the virus could become active. It could be next week or 20 years from now. I'm just looking for someone who is a little more knowledgeable that myself in this area who might be able to tell me what I can expect and what I should do. I'm not sure how I contracted this. I have a ton of questions...

    1. Is this sexually transmitted? it doesn't sound like anyone really knows.
    2. If it is sexually transmitted, can I pass it to someone else, even though the virus is not present?
    3. Is there any preventative medicine that I can take, or am I relegated to a "wait and see" holding pattern?
    4. How often should I get tested?
    5. The doctor suggested that I quit drinking, Is this really necessary, since the drinking would only make things worse if I actually had the virus?

    I guess this is a start. I'm not freaking out, I just want to know where to go from here. The hep C clinic at the VA says they don't need to see me, bc the virus isn't active, but I'd hate to wait till it's active before I start doing research. Thanks for all of your help.
    Melissa Palmer, MD responded:
    You do not have chronic HCV and cannot become "active" in the future. Unless you become reinfected - through intravenous drug use or another type of blood-to-blood transmission there is no significance on your future health or of the health of your loved ones. You will not be able to donate blood however.
    kaikens51709 responded:
    the same thing happened to me. i tested positive and when they did the viral load it came back low and they said i have no active virus. so now im wondering if it will multiply and become active or if i just have the antibodies for it and it will never be a problem. i never got a straight answer from anyone.
    chestn responded:

    You definately should stop drinking alcohol because that is like pouring gasoline on a fire. Drinking will not help your liver especially when everything you eat and drink has to be filtered by your liver. If you continue to drink, it will just be cutting your chances of healing to slow down considerably. Prayer helps!

    billm57 responded:
    once the body clears hcv its gone - it doesnt lay dormant or go into remission - hcv can be transmitted through sex if both are bleeding and theres a blood to blood transfer - its very very rare in heterosexual sex - but if the virus is undetectable you cant spread it - there is no preventative medicine - other than practicing safety ( act as if the virus is active ) and not engaging in risky behavior and maintaining a healthy immune system - if you had your liver damaged assessed and its stage 2 or lower - drinking will only increase the rate of progression - if its stage 3 or 4 it could be fatal - alcohol is toxic to a healthy liver - you dont need a virus to develop hepatitis or cirrhosis
    billm57 replied to billm57's response:
    also retesting in the near future is a good idea
    loveyour1life responded:
    This is my near exact situation. I have zero idea where I contracted this disease to make it even worse. The doc has no idea how long I've had it. My best guess is a transfusion in 2009 when I had a radical hysterectomy due to cancerous tissues. I have never used recreational drugs and as for my sex life... I am monogamous and he does not have any of it...
    There is not enough information out there for me to feel like I am getting the entire picture of what this disease really is. How did I "beat" hep c with zero treatment? Is it really possible or am I telling you all this because I know it was a miracle from GOD?
    cyndiphlebotomist replied to loveyour1life's response:
    sorry, not God...just biology. I cleared the virus also and I'm very atheist.
    kaikens59999 replied to Melissa Palmer, MD's response:
    I have a question , someone I know has pretty much the same situation . Positive for antibodies but negative results for the actual virus. They are basically immune from catching the virus again but basically it can go into remission at anytime on its own? Are they contagious if they just test positive for antibodies and can it be exchanged through sweat ? .
    oldtiff47 replied to kaikens59999's response:

    undefined replied to Melissa Palmer, MD's response:
    have the anti bodies but not the virus. does this mean my body naturally cured itself or that it is just laying dormant and I could get it at a later point in my life?

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