Skip navigation |

Could they have made a mistake?

It is very unlikely that a HCV diagnosis will be wrong. There is, however, a very small chance of a false positive or that your test results might have been confused with someone else’s. Both of these things do happen, but only very rarely. Occasionally people are told that they have HCV when their antibody test comes back positive. This does not necessarily mean that you have hepatitis C, only that at some point you have been exposed to the virus.

Approximately one in five people (20%) will clear the virus naturally but the antibodies will remain in the body and always show up in an antibody test (1). This is why it is necessary to have a further PCR test.

If you display certain symptoms, your doctor or health care specialist may suggest that you have contracted HCV. However, it is important not to confuse this with an actual diagnosis. Without having a PCR blood test, a confirmed hepatitis C diagnosis is not possible. Usually there is a two-tiered blood testing process including antibody and PCR tests.

[1] http://www.cks.nhs.uk/patient_information_leaflet/hepatitis c - accessed 30.03.2014