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is my hep b status improving?
Nov 29, 2012

Dear Doc, i am about to get married and found out i have hep b. initially the hepatitis B DNA Viral load read > 170000000 IU/ml. the doctor then put me on treatment and now my results reads HBV Dna copies 2,102,056 CP/ml and 361,178 IU/ML. what is the meaning of this? Is my hep b improving. Can my fiancee and I have unprotected sex when we get married? can i infect her with it? Can we have kids as soon as possible? she has had her hep b vaccinations and had her antibodies tested. The doctor confirmed she has enough antibodies.

Response from Dr. Taylor

It sounds as though your hepatitis B viral load is decreasing on hepatitis B therapy. This is good news. However the goal is to reach a non-detectable hepatitis B viral load, or level. So, I suggest discussing this with your doctor. Sometimes this takes time. Be sure to take your medicines every day and do not miss any doses. The best way to reduce the risk of getting sick from hepatitis B once you are infected with chronic hepatitis B, is to reach a non-detectable viral load.

As long as your doctor is certain that your fiancé is protected against hepatitis B, you are safe to have unprotected sex and not infect her with hepatitis B. Remember there are other infections that people may have that may be spread through sex, so talk with your doctor about getting checked for these.

With respect to having children, it is important that you and your finance engage in medical care during pregnancy and make sure that a newborn is vaccinated against hepatitis B immediately at birth so that a baby does not catch hepatitis B from living in the household with you. This is sometimes called, 'horizontal transmission,' in medical terms, and it does occur as hepatitis B is contagious. I suggest discussing this with your doctor as well as discussing hepatitis B immunoglobulin, HBIG, for a newborn. The same issues apply if you adopt a child.

If you have not had HIV tests recently, this is another good thing to do, especially when one has hepatitis B.



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