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Infant HCV Diagnosis
Sep 15, 2003

Hi Dr. Dieterich. My name is Mary. You treated me in 1997 for Hepatitis C as part of a clinical trial and I have been fortunate to be in remission ever since. My life has changed dramatically (so there is hope out there for those of you struggling with your treatment). We adopted one child and I am now looking to adopt a little boy who was HCV Ab positive up until 7 months and recently tested Ab and RNA negative. Is it normal for a child to test positive (on 4 occasions) and then test negative at a later date? Is there a chance that he can test positive in the future? If so, can you tell me what the treatment regimen is if any for a toddler? Thanks.

Response from Dr. Dieterich

Great to hear from you! Actually you are not in remission, you are cured! When a baby is born to a hepatitis C positive mother there will be maternal antibodies detectable in the infant for up to a year. There is only about a 5% chance that the baby will get HCV if the mom is infected, so the PCR is usually negative. That sounds like the case with your child. The mother was HCV positive and now the maternal antibodies have gone away and the PCR is negative so that the baby does not have HCV. By the way we ususually do not treat toddlers.Stay well! DTD



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