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acute hep c
May 24, 2012

In december i was diagnosed with acute hep c. My viral load was ridiculous ly high. Six million and something. Just got blood work the other day enzyme counts are normal red and white blood cells are good and my viral load is 4,000. Does this mean my body's immune system is fighting off the virus

Response from Dr. McGovern

If your viral load was that high, you were probably detected just after infection. Furthermore, there is research that shows that the higher the viral load is early on, the better the chance of clearance.

I would suggest an additional HCV test. If you still have detectable low level of virus, you could still clear it on your own. Another thing your doctor can do is to check your genetic background and see if it favors clearance (IL-28B). Alternatively, you could start HCV therapy (I usually use PEG plus Ribavirin) and treat for a short time if your virus remains low but detectable. The optimal duration of time is unknown; most treat for six months. However, there is one study that suggests 3 months is sufficient for low level viremia.

Best of luck....Get vaccinated for HAV and HBV. Avoid risk of HCV again - antibodies are not protective against reinfection.



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