cleared hep c or not?
May 4, 2009
Medicines are getting better to suppress HBV and HCV in which many patients after TX have an undectable viral load count. In some cases hepatologists tell patients they cleared hep c. However reports show that hep c patients who were told they cleared the virus had a liver biopsy to test the liver directly with an roche Cobra HCV RNA test and the majority of them found a very low viral load count found from the liver. So can we assume having a viral load count from the liver would give doctors a better indicator on there hepatitis status than drawing the blood from the arm. These types of studies are limited and might indicate that the person did not clear the virus. President Obama wants to give hbv and hcv more money for studies. Yet when hepatologist tell congress that patients have cleared the virus then Congress will give less money to help fight the disease. Thank you Dr. Mcgovern I am looking forward to your answer.
Response from Dr. McGovern
You are correct that there are some studies to suggest that virus might still be in the liver. However, patients who successfully complete treatment have been shown not to relapse in the bloodstream. Most importantly, many of these patients start to have improvement in their liver disease over time - some even regress from cirrhosis. So this is good news.
Research is still needed however, just be the sheer numbers of the patients effected in the world and the need for better therapies.
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