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HBV transmission and supression
Nov 11, 2007

In a recent work up for upcomming surgery I was found to have elevated liver enzymes. Further testing showed me to be HBV positive and the virus to be replicating. I do not have the numbers to post for your evaluation. I am scheduled for a liver/speen scan tomorrow. I have not yet been told whether my HBV is chronic or acute or whether I am a carrier or how long I have have had this. Since this finding and diagnosis I have done a lot of research on this and I have a couple of questions.

On this web site, you have answered a question about the ability to transmit this to another via kissing by saying it is not. However on another site it said that the virus is present in saliva and can pass through the mucus menbranes in the mouth. This sounds contradictory to me. If it is present in the saliva and can pass through the mucus membranes in the mouth, why is it not considered transmittable via kissing or possibly deep french kissing?

Next one person asked you about the rate of supression of his chronic HBV giving test result numbers. You indicated you felt his virus may be rebounding or becoming resistant to his medication. In your answer you also made referance to the virus becomming inactive. Does this mean that a person with HBV can have the virus become inactive with treatment and if so what factors are involved with this happening. Does the length of time a person has had the virus prior to detection enter into this?

Response from Dr. McGovern

Good questions.

1. Yes HBV is present in saliva, but there is no clear evidence of transmission by this route. The newest guidelines from The American Association for the study of Liver Disease recommend that patients can share food, utensils and can kiss others. It does NOT recommend sharing toothbrushes or razors, where there is a high chance of blood exposure.

2. HBV can be suppressed by medications; patients can become inactive carriers on their own through seroconversion or through treatment with antivirals.



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