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Hepatitis and HIV CoinfectionHepatitis and HIV Coinfection
           
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Hep C
Nov 30, 2013

Blood tests year ago was at 13 million now it's at 20 million. What does that mean?

Response from Dr. Taylor

These results inform us that you have high levels of circulating hepatitis C virus. The levels do not predict whether we get sick from hep C or not -- our levels can be high or low and we can have no scarring or extensive scarring in the liver. The levels can vary a bit over time, and this does not have an effect on the health of your liver.

These levels indicate that you have chronic hepatitis C virus infection. Talk with your doctor about options for treatment. This is a curable infection with medications. I appreciate that not everyone can access hep C medications. Hep C is not often an emergency. Talk with your doctor about how much scarring there is or is not in your liver -- there are a number of ways to assess this. The less scarring there is, the more time you have to access treatment.

If you drink any alcohol, ideally stop, or at least cut down. Alcohol is not safe in the presence of hep C. If you smoke, stop smoking, as this reduces your risk for developing liver cancer. Talk with your doctor about hepatitis A and B vaccine if you are susceptible (at risk for infection, without evidence in the blood of protection against these viruses).



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