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unusual Hep C results
Oct 25, 2008

We have recently had two patients with strange Hep C results, I wonder if you can clarify. case one HIV+ve,IVDU HepCAb-ve until April this year. On his annual check tested HepCab+ve with a viral load of <30 copies indicating clearance. Repeated in September with a VL of 64 genotype 1. What does this indicate? Case 2 HIV+ve past IVDU of >15yrs who has been HepCPCR+ve previously on annual check of VL is now <30 copies, we repeated this to confirm and is still the same (without treatment). Is this common to spontaneouly clear without treating after all this time?

Response from Dr. McGovern

Low levels of viremia can wax and wane. Since the test is based on RNA, which can degrade, sample handling is important. That is why I always double-check any non-detectable viral load.

Spontaneous clearance can occur even in chronic infection; however, this is distinctly uncommon and only reported in a few case reports. I have seen it myself.

Would follow again over time.



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