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What does my result mean?
Feb 26, 2012

Dear Dr, Would you please help explain my test results for Hep B:

Oct 2011: I was diagnosed with HIV. My doctor also screened for Hep B, the result was as follows: HB surface Ag: negative HB surface Ab: positive, 90.98mIU/mL

ALT: normal AST: normal

Nov 2011: Another test for hep B was done: Anti-HBc, total: reactive

Mid Nov 2011: I started my HIV treatment med.

Dec 2011: doctor ordered HBV viral load test, the result was as follows: HBV load: 1440 IU/mL HBV load log: 3.16

What do these results mean? Should I be worried about it ? What should I do?

Thanks so much for your time!

Response from Dr. McGovern

I am a bit surprised by your HBV test results because at first they suggested that you either had hepatitis B in the past and cleared it or where immunized with HBV vaccine and were protected. I am surprised to see HBV virus in your blood with the rest of your blood tests, but this has been reported in medical journals before.

Your blood level of HBV is VERY low. We usually see levels in the millions. However, it is also possible that your level was higher before you started your HIV treatment and it now came down. THat is because some HIV meds (like Truvada or Sustiva or Viread) are active against hepatitis B as well as HIV.

So I would suggest that you ask your doctor when your next HBV virus level will be checked to make sure it is suppressed completely. Your liver tests are normal which is also good news and these should have follow-up as well. I suspect you are on the right HIV/HBV cocktail and you will do just great.



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