Jul 8, 2008
I was diagnosed with HIV and Hep C five years ago. I asked about interferon but my previous doctor said that my tcells needed to be higher to start treatment for Hep C. My tcells are now 286, in which I thought was still to low to start the interferon. But my new doctor said that 286 is high enough and I am healthy enough to tolerate the interferon. Is it a good time to start it?
Response from Dr. McGovern
HIV/HCV coinfection: If your HIV RNA is suppressed and your T cells are 286 and your liver biopsy suggests liver disease, yes I would also favor treatment. If you really don't want a biopsy, it is still reasonable to treat to see how you respond. If you have genotype 2 or 3 infection, I would be inclined not to bother with a biopsy since those patients respond well.
Your doctor can follow your HCV RNA over four and 12 weeks of treatment and he or she will be able to predict your chance of responding early. If you are responding well, continue taking your medications well and hope for the cure. If no response, should probably stop.
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