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triple or co-infection
Jun 3, 2014

In the late 90's, I did test positiv on HCV, my doc at universityhospital said it was a false-positive cause I had chronic HBV and HIV. In 2010 i asked to be tested again, false-positive again. Cau.se the tests are much better, I was tested last month on all 3. Now i heard i cured spontaneously from HCV. Can someone cure spontaneously when havin HIV and HBV.

Response from Dr. Taylor

You most likely spontaneously cleared away your hep C infection. In the first 6 months or so of hep C infection, our body's immune system battles hepatitis C and may be able to fight it off. Depending on a number of factors, such as whether or not we are living with HIV infection, on average between 15-30% of the time our body can get rid of the hepatitis C infection without medications. This is sometimes called, 'spontaneous clearance.' Most of the time if our body is going to get rid of the hepatitis C on its own, it happens within the first 12 weeks of infection although it can take a bit longer.

After 6 months, if the hepatitis C is still there, our body cannot get rid of it on its own, and we have a chronic hepatitis C infection. Once there is a hepatitis C infection that has settled in the liver, the way to get rid of hepatitis C is with medications.

So, you likely were exposed to hepatitis C, and spontaneously cleared the infection. In this case the hepatitis C antibody always remains positive, as a footprint indicating past exposure, but you do not have chronic hepatitis C infection.

Regarding the false positive hep C antibody, in your case with HIV and hep B I think this is less likely, given overlapping routes of transmission. If you are from a part of the world where hepatitis C infection is rare, there is a higher chance of a false positive antibody result. There may be false positive results due to technical errors in checking the hepatitis C antibody. Sometime the hepatitis C antibody may cross-react with antibodies for other diseases, such as autoimmune diseases, giving a false positive result.

It is good to hear that you have been checked for the hepatitis C virus more than once. Rarely when there is chronic hep B, the 2 viruses 'compete' in a way and the hep B can seem dominant with hep B virus in the blood but not hep C virus in the blood.

Getting care for your HIV and hep B infections is important.



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