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Hepatitis and HIV CoinfectionHepatitis and HIV Coinfection
           
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another question
Sep 25, 2005

HIV pos. (undetectable) and went through Hep C treatment twice with peg intron and then pegasus. Negative on treatment but relapse when stopped. Due to heart surgery, I had to stop pegasus and ribavirin 10 months into treatment. Five months later, Hep C is back and still not on any peg. My HIV doctor doesn't feel I need to start treatment again until my numbers start climbing since treatment is very rough on my system. My question is, how long can I stay off treatment for Hep C before it does major damage. And I'm also looking into Hep C natural extracts. I feel it's better than doing nothing for it. What is your opinion on this? THank you for your time.

Response from Dr. McGovern

One consideration to discuss with your physician may be low dose maintenance interferon therapy since this is tolerated much better than full dose. However, there are no data in HIV patients to recommend this approach firmly. That is why you need to discuss this with your physician.

Also let your doctor know if you are taking any over the counter meds or herbals. Sometimes taking these medications can be worse than doing nothing due to their metabolism in the liver (which can stress the liver) and some interact negatively with HIV medications.

Dr. M



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