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Life-Long Implications of Hepatitis A and B
Nov 13, 2000

In 1988 I was diagnosed with both Hepatitis A and B at the same time. I was told by my doctor not to drink alcohol for a year. It was tough, but I didn't drink a drop that year. However, I do like to drink alcohol now -- I average one or two drinks a night after work. I've always been confused about a few things, and hope you can clear them up for me...once you are diagnosed with Hepatitis (in my case, A and B), am I a carrier for life -- can I possibly infect other people without my knowing it? Also, legally, I can no longer donate blood, correct? As a regular drinker of alcohol, is my risk level of getting liver damage higher than someone who has not had a history of hepatitis? As a result of a recent physical, I was told my liver function was normal. What exactly does this mean? Sorry for all the questions, but hope you can help!

Response from Dr. Dieterich

First, you cannot donate blood. Second there is not enough information to say whether you still have hepatitis B. You need to ask your MD to check for e antigen and e antibody and perhaps HBV DNA. If they indicate that you do not have hepatitis B go ahead an enjoy one or two drinks per day, but try to keep it at that level. Good luck! DTD



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