Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) . HCV PCR tests are a newly developed test that
came onto the market in late 1994. HCV PCR tests look for the presence of
the virus. Information gained from the HCV PCR can be useful in
interpreting unclear antibody test results.
The HCV PCR cannot tell how long someone has been infected.
Basically, your blood sample is broken up and certain parts are “fed” to E.coli
bacteria, which grow real fast. When there are enough of them, they are
put into the “bacteria-matic.”
Then that stuff is separated, and the remains are x-rayed, producing that pretty sheet of stripes that you see in cops and robbers shows and the OJ trial.
There are two sets, one side is the control, which is a known HCV, the other side is you. If they match you have the virus.