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Hepatitis and HIV CoinfectionHepatitis and HIV Coinfection
           
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HCV and HIV co-infection
Sep 29, 2004

Co-infected with both HIV and HCV, I've decided to decline treatment for both. Biopsy of my liver reveals early stage 3 w/ bridged fibrosis. HIV numbers are lower than ever (cd4 300, vl 15,000). Please tell me what I can expect in the future given that I have refused treatment for these viral diseases.

Response from Dr. McGovern

I am more concerned about your hepatitis C than your HIV infection. Your hepatitis C is advanced and I would strongly recommend that you discuss treatment with your physician.

Although there can be side effects related to treatment, they are usually manageable with good follow-up and your doctor can prescribe medications to help you get through the treatment. My patients rarely decide to stop their treatment because we address their concerns frequently.

It is important to obtain treatment now while your T cells are doing ok. There was recently new information about the treatment of hepatitis C in HIV infected patients published in the New England Journal of Medicine which you can discuss with your doctor. The information is encouraging and I would hope that you will reconsider.

Without treatment your liver will continue to get worse and then you can develop complications of cirrhosis. Dr. McGovern



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