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Please Help Desperate
Jun 25, 2002

Dear Dr. Dieterich,

Please help me I'm desperate - 4 years ago, after testing HBsAG+ with a PCP, a GI Dr. ran more tests and told me that the HbsAG+ had been a false positive and that I was OK and no treatment was required.

I have been reading up on HBV because I was laidoff and applied for personal insurance and now I'm just thoroughly confused and afraid. I had thought that by "False Positive" the Dr. meant my test had been messed up somehow and wouldn't test positive again, which now I think different. If I had known that before I would never have applied for the insurance. Now I'm worried if I'm really Ok and that the insurance company (lab) will find me HbsAG+ and also tell the public health I have HBV.

That GI doctor is no longer with that group and I'm afraid to ask anyone else. From the serology table my results, I think, = Non Replicated-stage (seroconverted) I think that means I'm OK? Please help - Do you think I'm still OK? One of your answers said that the + surface antigen rarely converts back? Do most Dr. agree? Is that my case? What do I tell the insurance/health department?

I recently got the copies of the DR's diagnosis in office notes from the next visit and got the test results today. He wrote "patient was last seen 5/13/98 with a hepatitis B surface antigen positivity, which was a false positive, with a NEGATIVE HBV DNA and normal liver tests. He returns today with a new problem.

The only 3 tests I found in my record from the original GI Dr. visit were: (1) HbsAB = negative, (2) DNA ANTIBODIES NATIVE = 3 IU/ML (REFERENCE RANGE = 0-29 is Negative) and (3) Hepatitis B VIRAL DNA QUANTITATION = NONE DETECTED PG/ML NONE DETECTED (METHOD IS DOT BLOT HYBRIDIZATION AFTER AMMONIUM SULFATE PRECIPITATION OF HEPATITUS B VIRAL DNA).

Response from Dr. Dieterich

Hepatitis B is confusing. You are cured, but will be surface antigen positive probably for life. As long as their is no DNA, there should be no issues. The insurance guys usually just check HCV, HIV and ALT and don't always do HB surface antigen. You may want to get the tests repeated with e antigen and e antibody. Good luck! DTD



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