While people with HIV are typically tested for hepatitis C virus (HCV)
upon entering care, follow-up hep C screens are less common, aidsmap
reports. Publishing their findings in Clinical Infectious Diseases,
researchers conducted a retrospective study of 70,000 HIV-positive
people receiving primary care at seven clinics throughout the United
States between 2000 and 2011.
Eighty-five percent of the study
sample received hep C testing when entering care. Out of the 9,000
people who did not have the virus and who stayed in care for a year or
more, 56 percent were retested for it. Between 35 percent and 79 percent
of the cohorts at the respective sites were retested.
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Between a third and half of patients with
positive hepatitis C results do not undergo reflex HCV RNA testing to
confirm their diagnosis, according to a report from the New York City
Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
“When screening for hepatitis C, order a reflex test rather than a
simple antibody test,” Katherine Bornschlegel, MPH, from the New York
City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), Long Island City,
New York told Reuters Health by email. “If the antibody test is
positive, the lab will immediately do the RNA test using the same
specimen, and you will learn the patient’s infection status without
needing an additional visit or blood draw.”