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Hepatitis and HIV CoinfectionHepatitis and HIV Coinfection
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Hep C and HIV seroconversion
Sep 3, 2012

Hi -

Does coinfection with Hep C delay the window period for seroconversion and if so, to what extent? I have the guidelines about testing until 3 months and then, if and only then, develop acute Hep C then further testing is warranted? is that correct? My 3 month mark of testing is coming up in 2 weeks and all tests since then (been doing weekly Home Access tests) have been negative and I just want this anxiety over this to end. I do not think I can handle another 3 months of this...So would be three month test be conclusive and definitve?

Thank you!

Response from Dr. McGovern

Good question. The vast majority of patients who get infected with HIV have a positive antibody test within about 8 to 12 weeks of infection. So a three month test after the exposure of concern is usually good enough. Rarely a person with convert later and repeat testing at 6 months can find the rest of these cases (about 3 percent of people).

In rare cases, getting acute HCV infection at the time of HIV infection can delay HIV seroconversion. However, if you don't have a diagnosis of acute HCV infection (usually with high liver tests and new HCV virus in your blood) there is no reason to worry about this possibility.

Risk of contracting Hepatitis C

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