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hep c 1a
Nov 9, 2008

I was told a few years ago that I have strand/genotype 1a. My doctor told me it was one of the least harmful types you could have, so as long as I stayed healthy I wouldn't have to worry about it. Well, I am thinking about having a baby, so I am doing some research and I have read that 1a is actually a bad genotype to have and it is terrible on the liver. Am I reading this right??? I have been thinking this whole time I wouldn't have to worry. My liver is healthy right now, so I'm not sure if I should seek treatment. Also, what are the chances my baby would contract it from me? Do they have new methods of giving birth to mothers with hep c?? I am so confused and so worried, I don't want this disease to hinder me from having a family and a happy life. Thank you Dr. McGovern

Response from Dr. McGovern

Genotypes have nothing to do with the extent of disease.

Any genotype can cause liver disease. You need a HCV RNA test to first determine if you even have any virus in your bloodstream - some people can clear it on their own and then you would be reassured.

If you have viremia, your liver health is best determined with a liver biopsy. If that is not an option you want to pursue, you can also get a blood test (like Fibrotest or Fibrosure or others) to see how much scarring you have. These blood tests are more accurate in the extreme ends ( ie very mild disease or very advanced disease) but not as accurate in the middle.

If you do have viremia but do not need treatment now due to mild disease, you have only about a 5% chance of passing on virus to your newborn. Even if this occurs, many more babies resolve the infection than adults do.

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