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FAQ: PCR Test

PCR Test

How can the HCV Infected Person get a PCR Test for approval at disease Level 2?

Once approved at disease Level 1, the HCV Infected Person is eligible to have a free PCR test through the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control ("BCCDC). HCV Infected Persons who were approved at disease Level 1 will automatically get a letter from the Hepatitis C Claims Centre. This letter outlines instructions on how to contact the BCCDC to set up a PCR test. The British Columbia Centre for Disease Control will arrange for the HCV Infected Person to undergo a PCR test in a convenient location.

The test result will be forwarded to the Hepatitis C Claims Centre and copied to the HCV Infected Person.

Why have I received a letter asking me to repeat a PCR Test when I have already sent in a copy?

Your PCR test result may be outdated or invalid. According to the Standard Operating Procedure "Criteria for Acceptable HCV Antibody and PCR Test", you must submit one of the following:

  • A test dated January 1, 1998 or later performed at any Canadian laboratory indicating the presence of the virus, or
  • a test performed by the laboratory designated to do PCR testing for the Administrator ("Designated PCR Lab") indicating the presence of the virus.

Since the medical community began testing for HCV there have been advancements that make test results more reliable. The evidence has shown that results of tests taken before 1998 are not as reliable and as such, an updated test result must be submitted to the Administrator.

Also, test results may be from a research test, which does not meet the medical criteria as outlined in the 1986-1990 Hepatitis C Settlement Agreement.

HCV Infected Persons who were approved at disease Level 1 will receive a letter with instructions on how to contact a the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control to arrange for a PCR test free of charge.

If you need to have an HCV Antibody Test, please contact your physician. This test is not covered under the compensation plans.

Who else gets a copy of my PCR Test results?

A copy of your PCR test result is sent directly to you. Copies are also sent to the Administrator and your doctor. If your PCR Test results are positive, by law, the laboratory must send the results to the Public Health Department in the Province or Territory where you reside.

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