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Hep B & HIV
Jul 13, 2000

Dear Dr. I have 4 questions: 1. I was tested as a Hep B carrier 8 years ago. what is the difference between Carrier & tested positive for Hep B? 2. I have NO clue how I got the Hep B - even you indicated that it has to be via sexual contact. Are there other means that Hep. B can be transmitted? My brother-in-law is a health worker (physician) & he also is Hep. B carrier. 3. Even I was tested as a carrier long time ago, my family doctor always told me to 'eat right' & 'sleep well' but declined to give me medication. Has she done me justice since you indicated that Hep. B can be cured? 4. I recently had unsafe intercourse (no condom) with a sex worker which lasted less than 2 minutes & experienced most of the symptoms of HIV & worried to death. the incident took place at the end of 4/00. the first HIV blood test came back negative, not surprisingly, & I'm scheduled to have another one done at the end of 7/00. When the AIDS help line at the local agency heard that I am a Hep. B carrier, they all acted as if I'm as good as dead. what is the hope for people co-infected with both HIV & Hep. B? I know that AZT is a death pill for liver because it is so toxic. thank you Sir for your help. Mike

Response from Dr. Dieterich

Dear Mike,

First of all AZT is not a death pill; it is OK for the liver, a lot safer than many others. It is not clear what your HBV status is. You should see a hepatologist. Most people consider you an asymptomatic carrier if you have HBsuface Antigen. If you also have e antigen you are probably contagious and have active viral replication. If you have e antibody you are unlikely to be infectious. However the best test is of course DNA by PCR, which you can do for HIV as well. You should see someone who has experience with HBV treatment. Good Luck! Douglas T. Dieterich, M.D.



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