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Hepatitis and HIV CoinfectionHepatitis and HIV Coinfection
           
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Hep B vaccine not worked!
Sep 9, 2007

Hello Doctor

Please please can you help as i'm so worried. I tested positive for HIV nearly 2 years ago and on medication and doing very, very well! My viral load is below 40 and my immune system has got stronger and stronger (May 07 - 496) waiting for next results to come back. The problem is when i was at the hospital last week i was told that my Hep B vaccine hadn't worked so i need another course of injections over the next month to protect me, is this normal?

Also my main concern is (i'm panicking loads and loads so this might sound a bit far fetched!my imagination can get wild!) i'm bothered if i can catch hep from someone sharing my razors/toothbrush - as i'm at uni and live in a shared house with over 8 people so i'm botherd incase they have used my things (and vice versa!)is it possible to catch hep this way? I'm not sure in my May tests if my doctor would of tested me for hep B or not. I've not had sex with anyone apart from my partner (use protection always - he is also HIV positive) and i have never injected any drugs at all. Do you think i will be ok? I've tried to contact my doctor but he is away on leave for 3 weeks!!!!! and i'm due to go on holiday myself in 6 days time and just so worried! Please, please can you answer my question.

I would just also like to add what a fantastic thing you are all doing here with this website.

Best wishes

From the UK

Response from Dr. McGovern

You ask a very good question. It is very common for patients with HIV not to "seroconvert" after their vaccination series. There are several studies trying to see what approach may be best for nonresponders. One study showed that using a double dose of vaccine (as used in dialysis patients) was helpful, so I would discuss this possibility with your doctor on his or her return.

It has not been proven that toothbrushes and razors transmit hepatitis viruses, but it is theoretically possible, so we do suggest that you do not share. If you have, I would not be concerned about this as an issue for infectivity, because this route has not been well demonstrated.

Enjoy your vacation.



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