The HCV ELISA is widely used for detecting antibodies to HCV. Since an individual with resolved infection will have a life long antibody response, confirmed positive antibody tests mean that at one time or another the person had been exposed to the virus. These tests are very effective in ruling out HCV. The most up to date EIA is capable of antibody detection as early as 6-8 weeks. While a negative test at this time can be extremely useful, it is best to wait about 3 months to avoid the need for a follow up test.