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TREATMENT OF HIV & HCV in AUSTRALIA
Jan 18, 2001

Dr Dieterich,

I have had Hep C for 17 years and was also diagnosed with HIV 6 months ago. It was the first HIV test I've had and wonder if I contracted both together from needle sharing or contracted HIV from unsafe sex in the last 5-6years.

I have antibodies to Hep A and B.

My T cells are 480 and viral load is 7000; liver function is in the low range of normal. I feel well and am not on any teatment.

Which virus should be treated first? Can a liver biopsy and drug side effects be avoided?

Are the most effective treatments available in Australia?

Response from Dr. Dieterich

It does not sound like treating the HIV is emergent with good T cells and a low viral load, many people would not treat the HIV just yet.

Now for the HCV, of course, a liver biopsy is not mandatory, although most people feel better if they have one

because they will know if they have cirrhosis or how urgent it is to treat the hepatitis. I believe the combination of interferon and ribavirin is approved in Australia. The pegylated interferon is approved in Europe but I don't know about down under. The best treatment this year and for a few years to come is peg plus ribavirin. Go for it! DTD



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