Question by vm9248: I tested positive for hepatits c?
After getting std tests, my obgyn called to tell me I tested positive for hep c. I’ve only had sex with one person my whole life, and never unprotected. I’ve never shot up illegal drugs. However, when I was a child I was very sick and had to be put on injections called epogen for 3 years.
On the epogen website it states this: “Epogen is made from human plasma (part of the blood) which may contain viruses and other infectious agents. Donated plasma is tested and treated to reduce the risk of it containing infectious agents, but there is still a small possibility it could transmit disease. Talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of using this medication.”
Do you think that I could have gotten it from this medication? If so, I’m very upset that a drug would be put on the market infected with hep c plasma.
Answer by Bob B
Hepatitis C can be spread by a variety of means. Some people also get it without any obvious route of infection (it can’t appear out of nowhere, but at the same time we can’t always identify where it comes from).
As for your question- yes, it is possible, albeit very unlikely with modern screening procedures. Most countries have screened blood products for hepatitis C for decades now, although occasionally it can still get through (if someone has a very low amount of the virus in their blood it can slip past screening tests, but it can still infect someone who receives it). The chances of that in developed countries are now extremely low, but non-zero. Also, if you had the product a very long time ago, it may not have been screened- blood products made before screening technologies were developed had a higher risk.
The simple fact is that blood products are often a life-saving medical treatment, but they also carry a non-zero risk of transmission of disease. That is unfortunately the risk that has to be taken. As mentioned, the risk in developed countries is so low that it’s very unlikely to be infected now, but it has happened before. This is why we are very careful about the use with blood products.
It’s also worth mentioning that this does not necessarily mean you were infected with this product either.
What do you think? Answer below!