HepC: Cured or in Remission?
Aug 25, 2009
I went through the 48 week program and cleared the HepC virus at week six, from a very high load of almost 10,000,000. 1 year following tratment, the heptimax test said undetectable (<5). Because I was transfused person, I don't feel I'm at any risk for a reinfection. My Hepatologist says that I'm "cured" of HepC. My HIV specialist laughed and said HepC is incurable and I will always be a HepC patient (even though my lipid panels are all normal, and I never got serious fibrosis). Is my HIV doctor just considering HepC is like HIV, never really gone, just hiding out in sleeper cells, or is my liver doctor, who deals w/ HepC all the time right or just trying to encourage me? My internet research shows that some in the medical establishment were shy to use the term cured until the last few years. What do you think???? Thank you for being there for all of us!
Response from Dr. McGovern
I agree with your liver doctor. Hepatitis C is incorporated into the cytoplasm of liver cells. Once the virus is suppressed - and stays suppressed once therapy is discontinued - I consider that "a cure"..Few people relapse. If you got your HCV through transfusion I would agree that your chance of reinfection is nil. However, your antibody will remain positive for years to come.
We cannot cure HIV - yet....This virus is integrated into the host genome. We can suppress it with potent medications. But once those medications are discontinued, the virus rebounds in most patients.
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