Overview of HCV Ag
What is HCV Ag?
You should get this test done when you have risk factors for HCV infection like you are on long term dialysis, have received a blood transfusion, have injected illegal drugs, you have evidence of chronic liver disease. It is also done when you may have been exposed to hepatitis C virus, such as through contact with infected blood.
Why is HCV Ag done?
- If you have signs or symptoms suggesting hepatitis like jaundice, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, decreased appetite
- The Center for Disease Control (CDC) also recommends HCV antibody testing if you have ever injected illegal drugs, you have been exposed to someone with Hepatitis C infection, you have evidence of chronic liver disease, you have HIV, or you are on long term dialysis
Preparation for HCV Ag
- No special preparation required
Sample Type for HCV Ag
The sample type collected for Hepatitis C Virus Antigen is: Blood
Interpreting HCV Ag results
- A negative HCV antibody test usually indicates no infection with Hepatitis C virus
- A positive or indeterminate HCV antibody test along with a negative HCV RNA test usually indicates past infection or no infection. Additional tests are needed
- A positive or indeterminate HCV antibody test along with positive HCV RNA test indicates current infection
Answers to Patient Concerns & Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about HCV Ag
Frequently Asked Questions about Hepatitis C Virus Antigen
Q. Once I have recovered from HCV, can I get infected again?
Yes, a prior infection with HCV does not protect you from another infection, it does not make you immune to HCV