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Hepatitis and HIV CoinfectionHepatitis and HIV Coinfection
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told positive hep c, but negative a & b
Aug 18, 2013

I just had a hep panel done because of abnormal liver levels and was told i was positive for hep c but negative for hep a & b. I had an ultrasound done and the doctor said it look normal,and there was no rush but i should followup with my pcp. What i want to know is how i got it. I don't do drugs,no tats,and don't have multiple sex partners, maybe a total of 3 (2 of them i only had unprotected oral sex a long time ago.) I was in hospitals before 1987, but don't remember any tranfusions. Since the hep c is positive could i also have hiv and should i be checked?

Response from Dr. Taylor

I do think you should be tested for HIV. Everyone infected with hepatitis C should be checked for HIV. This is because there are overlapping routes of transmission, so however you acquired hepatitis C, you could have acquired HIV. Diagnosis of both infections impacts health and care and next steps regarding treatments.

Hepatitis C is spread via blood infected with hepatitis C. Common ways to catch hepatitis C include through sharing needles and injection equipment used to inject drugs, through sharing straws for snorting cocaine, from sex involving blood most importantly unprotected anal sex among HIV-infected men who have sex with men, and through medical procedures or practices that are not performed under sterile conditions. Sometimes we cannot figure out exactly how we acquired hepatitis C, but the infection is the same no matter the route.

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