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Hep B and HIV
Apr 13, 2006

Dr. McGovern:

i recently tested positive for HEP B and for HIV. My T cells are 314 and viral load 65,000. My doctor said that we will need to delay HIV treatment until my liver heals. With these numbers, how worried should I be? Could the hep B be causing my T cell count to be low, and could it have an effect on my viral load numbers? I am just worried about letting my HIV progress without any treatment at all.

Thanks.

Response from Dr. McGovern

I suspect your physician is worried about your liver function tests being elevated.

If so, I would proceed with a liver biopsy as the first course of action to know how much disease you have.

You can treat two things at once: Hepatitis B and HIV with drugs like Truvada which combines two drugs in one pill that are active against both viruses. Then you would need an additional drug for HIV care.

However, the liver biopsy would be helpful, because sometimes HBV can flare when your immune system gets better. It would be good to know your liver disease status before you start medications.

I would also consider seeing a liver specialist.

Best regards, Dr. M



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