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Hepatitis Message Board


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For the last 10 years or so I've gradually found myself getting tired easier, and went to my doctor many times with no diagnosis. Then, a couple of months after my husband died, I saw a different doctor who ordered a hep c antibody test, no questions, no councelling.. nothing. It came back positive, I had another which was also positive, and yesterday I saw a gastro specialist. So far the only test I've had are antibody tests and liver function tests that came back normal, but I thought I had it still from the moment I got my first positive result. So, yesterday the gastro doctor gave me a quick examination and ordered a lot of blood work, from RNA test to viral load and genotype, having told me that I had advanced chronic hep c.. without even an RNA test. He did say I had spider nevii, although I'd been told years earlier that was acne rosascae.
So, I'm expecting an appointment for an ultrasound scan sometime in the next 3 weeks (that's an appointment date, not the appointment) and I go back to get the results at the end of October. I've not been asked if I have any questions, been given any information apart from I may be suitable for treatment or I may not, and had no counselling. So everything I know has been learned online, I have no family now, and being left in the dark with zero support is a scary place to be.
I guess that most of you are in the USA, but I have the services of the UK health scheme, and it's a lottery depending on where you live. But at least I don't have to worry about being unable to get health insurance because I've been tested because if somebody is seen as having a good chance of responding to treatment and the local hospital isn't short of funds, then treatment is free. But of course nobody has asked me if I want treatment, they just assume.

But one thing puzzles me. An antibody test can be positive when you have cleared the virus, although only a small percentage do that. So how can the doctor go ahead with everything before he's got the results of the RNA test? Also, even here people are supposed to be given information and counselling before they even have an antibody test, but I got nothing.. just that test buried amongst others initially, then my getting a letter saying I needed a repeat hep c antibody test, when I didn't even know I'd had the first one.





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