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Hepatitis and HIV CoinfectionHepatitis and HIV Coinfection
          
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found my own answers
Jan 15, 2008

Hi Dr M: I wrote that I was exposed to Hep C and got very very sick a month later, stayed sick that whole month and am still sick, and I couldn't find anything about people like me. I have found that people like me are rare usually recover on their own rather quickly and that's why I don't see much about us. I'm still very sick at week 5 and found out my viral load at testing 1 week after start of symptoms was >8,000. Yes less than 8,000. So I'll probably clear it. You can leave my original question out, it seems like I was in a panic. If you want my story in the forum, I could ask again more straight forward and let you answer. Thanks

Response from Dr. McGovern

Thank you very much for your posting. This is quite informative.

Persons who have new exposure to hepatitis C have "acute HCV infection".These patients usually have no symptoms; a minority of patients do feel extremely tired, may have nausea or vomiting, poor appetite and right upper quadrant pain in their belly. On occasion their skin may also turn yellow (called jaundice). It turns out that those patients who are sick tend to have a better chance of clearing the virus on their own compared to those who do not become ill.

With such a low viral load, I would be hopeful that yes you will clear your HCV. However, this requires follow-up of serial HCV RNA tests to prove clearance. If the virus rebounds upward, you will want to discuss the benefits of rapid treatment with your doctor, since the cure rates in the setting of acute HCV are about 90 percent. These rates are much higher than what we see in chronic infection.



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