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Does a positive ELISA tests confirm that I have Hepatitis C?

Q: I have undergone a test for Hepatitis C. The ELISA test result was positive and RNA test shows less than the detecatble limit. Am I infected by Hepatitis C or not? Please prescribe a medicine for the same.

A:A positive antibody based test for Hepatitis C (such as the ELISA) indicates that you have had a Hepatitis C infection which may or may not be present at that time. A negative RNA based test (qualitative) suggests that there is no Hepatitis C infection when the test was done. However, false postive tests are not uncommon and it is possible that in your case there was actually no infection ever. To confirm the meaning of the first report, a confirmatory test such as the RIBA test may need to be done. Generally the fact that you do not have detectable RNA in the blood suggests that there is no infection at present.

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