Sunday, December 22, 2013

Some HepC Basics you should know

HCV testing is not a routine blood workup, so request to have the test.  It is recommended that you use the same laboratory for all your tests, result ranges and accuracy can vary from lab to lab.

*****Keep copies of all your labs and other tests for further reference**

>>Some basic tests:
HCV (oHepatitis C Virus) Antibody Test: HCV ELISA detects HCV antibodies in your blood.  (I thought Elisa was a person who really got around...duh!!!)

RIBA HCV:  A second antibody test performed after Elisa to confirm the presence of HCV antibodies.

>>>This test is usually performed only in people who test positive by the HCV ELISA but do not have known risk factors for acquiring HCV.

Viral Load Tests:  These tests measure the amount of HCV circulating in the blood.  HCV viral load is expressed as either copies per milliliter of blood or as a standard unit of measurement called "International Units".

>>>>Yawn....boring maybe, but important to understand all of these things.  This is YOUR BODY and YOUR FIGHT. Come armed!>>>>>

Why is the doctor taking 10 vials of blood out of me??????

Viral load tests are used to confirm active HCV infection, to predict medical treatment response, and to measure how well the medications are working against the virus during treatment. 

**An association between viral load and disease progression has not be established.  The viral load tests are good for before, during and after treatment.**

I will go into genotype and liver biochemical function tests later. 

For me, in my foggy state of mind, I can hold on to smaller pieces of the whole, understand them, then add more, later.  If I try to take it all in at once, I become overwhelmed.