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acute hepatitis c
Dec 8, 2012

Hello Dr Taylor

one month ago I was told I had an acute hepatitis C, genotype 4. After many test I decided to start dual therapy (Interferon + rivarin). I have indetecteble viral load, and CD4 over 900

Side effects are Ok after 10 days.

I m 42 years old, and my doctor told me I had 50 % chance of being cured, if I was treated during acute infection.

But she also told me I had a genetical ... that many latinos and africans also have. So my question is, having this genetical thing, do I have the same chances to get cured??

Many thanks

Richard

Response from Dr. Taylor

Dear Richard, I am glad that your HIV is under such good control, this is wonderful.

The chance of cure with a NEW hepatitis C infection, called acute hepatitis C (within the first 6 months of catching hepatitis C), is in general quite high. Your chances of being cured are even higher if your hepatitis C RNA, or viral load, becomes undetectable by week 4 of treatment, and/or by week 12 of treatment. So talk with your doctor about getting a test for the hepatitis C viral load at these timepoints if possible.

Regarding the genetic test, you are likely referring to the IL28B. This is a one-time blood test for a person's genetic, or in-born, sensitivity to interferon for hepatitis C. The results come as CC, CT, or TT. CC is for cure cure! If we have CC we are more curable with interferon and ribavirin. However, the role of our genetics and IL28B are NOT as important in acute hepatitis C, as they are in chronic hepatitis C. So your chances of cure are lower no matter your genetic test result, since you are being treated for acute hepatitis C.

We cannot tell if our genetic test result will be CC, CT or TT depending on our race or ethnicity, or appearance. While it is true that the results vary based on our genetic ancestry, and that people of African, African American or Latino ancestry may be less likely to have the CC variant, certainly there are people of African, African American or Latino ancestry who have the CC result. The only way to know is to get the IL28B genetic test. If you have not, it does not seem as though you need to have this test done now, as you are being treated in the acute phase of infection. The test can be more helpful in chronic hepatitis C infection.

The newer pills against chronic hepatitis C in the future are expected to be so strong that they should overpower our genetic test result even it is CT or TT.



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