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Concerned,possible hepatitis c
May 21, 2004

Hi, I have been on methadone for 2 years. When I got on methadone, one of my routine drug tests came back showing no methadone in my system(doctor didn't think anything of it). I changed clinics not long after. Just last month the same thing happened....my drug test came back with no methadone in my system. I am not using any drugs, and I take my methadone regularly. They asked me if I ever had a Hep C test, which I have not. I could have been exposed to the virus. I have no insurance, but I would like to get a HEp test done.

1) How much do the hep test cost?

2)And, do you think the drug test problem could have just been my metabolism? (I have a high metabolism, I weight 120, 5'5.) I have not noticed any hepatitis symptoms, except I remember last year for a month or so my urine was very thick and dark, and had a strange odor. It did not smell like urine to me.

3) Also, if I had HIV/hep co infection the whole time, would I have gotten sick by now, or is it possible that I wouldn't have?

It has been 3 years since my possible hiv exposure, and about the same time for hepatitis exposure. Thank you for your help!

Response from Dr. McGovern

If you have had a possible HIV exposure three years ago, by all means please be tested. I also recommend testing for hepatitis B and C.

I would contact the public health department in your state to find out where you can get free testing and counseling.

Do not assume that if you aren't sick, that you don't have HIV/HCV co-infection.

There are many, many new drugs which effectively treat both diseases. It is much better to know your status. Get tested!

Dr. McGovern



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