Co infection issues
Apr 28, 2002
Dear Dr. Dieterich, in response to some questions in this forum you stated that co infection (or better said co-trasmission) of HIV and HBV (or HCV) can slow down the production of immunoglobulins for both antigens. Even after the "conservative window" of 6 months. I read (source CDC) that HIV/HBV co infection is quite common (up to 30 of the HIV population). Don't you think that the CDC wouldn't have lowered the WP to three months for general screening if such a common coinfection could affect it? Am I completely on the wrong way?
Again, I read in some of your answers that you recommend PCR testing while the usual and government recommended screening test is EIA. Do you mistrust antibody-based testing? Do you believe that PCR is more conclusive in some way, especially in the aforementioned cases?
Thank you for your kind attention
Response from Dr. Dieterich
Hepatitis B and HIV occur together frequently, however they are almost always acquired at different times. In HIV patients hepatitis B antibodies are not perfect, because of immunosuppression. If you want to know sooner than the 6 months of waiting for antibodies and most patients do, then PCR will give you a quicker answer. DTD
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