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Hepatitis and HIV CoinfectionHepatitis and HIV Coinfection
           
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Unluckiest guy in the world, that might be me!
Apr 10, 2005

Hello,

I found out on Jan 26th that I had Hep B. I initially was very ill but now and much better. My liver function is normal but I still test positive for Hep and have not developed antibodies. My question is on Feb 3rd I tested neg for HIV and am currently awaiting my 12 week test from the Hep diagnosis. How common is it to get infected with both Hep and Hiv at the same time? And would it be a good sign that while I had active symptoms and was testing positive for Hep that I was testing neg for HIV?

Thanks so much. Hopefully not a two time loser.

Response from Dr. McGovern

It is too early to tell if you are a chronic carrier for hepatitis B. You need to wait at least six months to give your body a chance to get rid of the virus and form protective antibodies (surface and core antibodies).

It is important to get testing for HIV as well since the two viruses can travel together. However, the risk is clearly related to the person who you got it from - as to whether your partner was co-infected or not. If you got HBV from sexual tranmission or from needle sharing, HBV is more easily transmitted than HIV.

However, using clean needles, or condoms always, will spare you - and others reading this - the need for this burdensome worry and anguish.

Dr. McGovern



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