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Differences
Sep 6, 2004

Dear Dr. McGovern,

Are there any differences between "asymptomatic HBV carrier" and "Inactive HBV carrier"? Currently, there is no known cure for hepatitis B, but with many great treatments available, the disease can be controlled and also those treatments can greatly reduce the risk of death of the HBV patients. Please let me know if I am right. Thank you very much

Response from Dr. McGovern

These terms are used interchangeably but the most correct one is "inactive carrier" which means that a person has presence of hepatitis B surface antigen, but there is no detectable virus.

You are certainly correct that there are many good treatments now for hepatitis B, including adefovir, lamivudine, and new studies of pegylated interferon - and the number of drugs will be expanding soon. Dr. McGovern



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