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Hepatitis and HIV CoinfectionHepatitis and HIV Coinfection
          
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Co-infected?
Dec 21, 2008

In 2006 I found out I had been exposed to the Hep-C virus,probably from heroin use in my 20's

I'm now 42,I recently had a possible exposure to Hiv from unprotected vaginal intercourse with a person of unknown hiv status.A month or so after the possible hiv exposure I started getting tired for no reason,then got a bad cold,this was in late August of this year,then got all kinds of symptoms possibly related to hiv,dry mouth,mouth sores,dry skin,dry nose,now in December I still get dry mouth sometimes,my nose is really dry,my skin is still dry.

I figure I'm probably hiv positive.But my Liver specialist just gave me a DNA test for hep-c and tells me my body cleared that virus,says it didnt show up in my DNA,so I dont have it

My question is,could the HIV infection cause the Hep-c to disapear from my DNA?

Could I still be co-infected?I know that when they ran a test for my hep c last year or so the Viral Load was so small it was almost undetectable,I know this because I asked what genotype I had back in October,that test I mentioned was run in 07 maybe late 06

So I just basically want to know if the Hiv will bring the hep-c back to life so to speak

Stupid question I know

Response from Dr. McGovern

It sounds like you are one of the lucky people who has cleared the HCV virus - suggested by an extremely low viral load in the recent past and now a non-detectable viral load just now.

I am unsure if you were tested for HIV and I think this is reasonable if you had an exposure of concern.

As for HIV masking HCV...there are some data to suggest viral interactions between these two viruses - eg, HCV RNA increasing while HIV RNA was decreasing on HIV medications. However, I have not seen any data to suggest that HCV is completely undetectable in this situation.

So I doubt recent HIV infection would be the reason for your good HCV results. Be certain to keep it that way - no future HCV exposures or you could easily get infected again. Antibody to HCV is NOT protective.



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