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HIV and Hepatitis B coinfection
Jan 25, 2009

Hello. I am 27 and I have been recently diagnosed with HIV and hepatitis B. My CD4 is 405 and viral load 500,000. I found out that I was positive as I went jaundiced. I have cleared the jaundice but from time to time I have pale stools. I know that a definite answer isn't possible, but my question is simply, how long does it take for the two diseases to overcome the body, and can I expect a 'near normal' life expectancy? Thanks in advance for an honest answer.

Response from Dr. McGovern

The answer is that you can live a long life as long as you continue to closely follow up with your physician. That's my honest answer!

Your CD4 cell count is 450 cells which is good. Your hepatitis B infection will need close follow-up because patients with HIV have higher risk of developing chronic hepatitis B. If you do develop chronic hepatitis B, you will need treatment for both HIV and HBV. The good news is that there are medications that have activity against both viruses so I expect you should do extremely well.

You should see a physician who is expert in HIV. He or she will want to get HIV resistance testing to be certain which drugs will work best in you. Once you start, be as adherent as possible. This will decrease the risk of developing drug resistance.

You will also want to be vaccinated against hepatitis A if you have never been exposed. You will also be vaccinated against influenza and you should receive a special pneumonia shot called pneumovax.

Best regards



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