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HBV-Inactive Carrier, Unanswered questions
Aug 3, 2004

Dear Doc,

I have recently been been diagonised with chronic HBV ( I was applying for an overseas Job). My results are as follows:- HBsAg Detected, HBeAg NOT detected, HB core antibody Detected, DNA Not detected. My AST and ALT liver tests were both 22 (normal). My HIV and HCV were both negative. The result indicated that this was consistent with current infection or chronic Hep B carrier. From what I read from your forum, I can perhaps go further and say this is inactive state HBV. My questions are:-

1. How could the doctor tell if this is indeed chronic given that this is my first test? shouldn't 2 tests 6 months apart be done? Could it be that I am recovering from acute HBV?

2. I am sure I was not born with this as I was tested and turned a negative result in 1998. What are the chances that I will clear the virus?

3. Does it mean that I was once HBeAg positive and this has cleared itself? is this a good sign that will lead to HBsAg clearance and can this go back to being positive and what is the probability of this happening?

4. Am I infectious? if so how much? My wife has tested negative for HBV and started her doses. Is it safe to have unprotected sex in between the doses?

5. The doctor who was doing the examination passed me fit for employment (Saudi Arabia)as a banker. Do you think this will prevent me from getting the visa?

Concerned, Male 32

Thanks

Response from Dr. Dieterich

It is not acute since you have e antibody. You have cleared the virus and the e antigen. Surface antigen rarely clears only about 1% per year. If the DNA is really negative by PCR then you are not infectious, however, I would make sure it is done again by PCR. Good luck, should be no problem with a visa. DTD



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