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Hep C treatment
Oct 22, 2007

My husband has Hep C geno 1b. His viral count is very low at 2,500. All of his numbers have been dropping on their own in the last 10weeks. However, the dr. said that the last test was not a 2 log drop and wants to start him on the pegasys only. Reading the side effects, it sounds so bad, and I wonder why it is so important to start now with the low numbers. Seems safe to wait, but I guess there is a 12 week window that it is important to start the drug therepy? I hate for him to feel bad when he feels so good right now.Even the nurse practioner said they have never treated someone with such low numbers. Have you heard of anyone with this low of a viral number being treated?

Response from Dr. McGovern

From what I can gather from your question, your husband just acquired hepatitis C infection and his viral levels are going lower and lower. However, the physician wants to start treatment within a 12 week window for acute hepatitis C.

I have been faced with this decision myself from time to time. There is thought that it is best to treat quickly before the infection becomes chronic and the response to treatment may be much lower.

Personally, this viral load is so low that I would be willing to check one additional time to see what happens. Either way, your husband is going to do well. Either he will clear spontaneously or he will clear with treatment since his immune response is controlling his virus so well.

Your husband needs to know that even if he clears the infection, he can easily get it again if exposed.

He also needs hepatitis A and B immunizations if he is not immune. He should have HIV testing as well if there was an associated risk.



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