Like hepatitis B, infects the liver and can cause inflammation and liver damage. The virus is commonly transmitted by needles, and thus may be associated with injecting drug use. Like HIV, HCV can persist in the body even when antibodies are present. We perform two tests for the virus, one that looks for antibody to the virus, and a second that looks for the virus itself, targeting the virus nucleic acid. If either or both of the tests are reactive, further tests are done to confirm the result. Like HIV, the antibodies produced do not protect against the virus. Many of the donors we identify have had the virus for years and feel completely well.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV)
Posted in Blood Safety, Testing.