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Decreasing viral loads
Aug 26, 2001

My husband has had HCV for approximately 10 years, diagnosed 3 years ago. His blood-work had shown decreasing viral load, almost zero now. Our doctor said that some people clear the infection by themselves, although rare, and Dr. thinks he is one of these lucky people, but he should still be treated with interferon. Have you ever heard of people clearing this themselves? (I have done extensive reading and never have). He is due to start interferon next month. I also wanted to know, Schering Plough had a program for the combo therapy with the 3x a week shot, where you could receive assistance with purchasing it. We do not have a perscription plan, we do not fall within the guidelines of help from the government. We own a home and have a decent income, but the interferon will kill us in cost, 1,000 per month before the rebetrol. Have you heard of any programs that could help us out a bit?

Response from Dr. Rodriguez-Torres

I do not understand the reason to treat your husband if the viral load "is almost zero".The reason for treatment is virus erradication,although there are other benefits to the liver. I have seen patients with AIDS clear the virus after their immune status improves,so this is also possible in your case. I reccomend you to have a good evaluation including a liver biopsy, before you consider treatment.If you do not have significant viremia and mild liver disease, treatment may not be indicated at this moment.It may be best to wait even if treatment is indicated, and use Peg-interferons as Peg-Intron,and better Pegasys.These new treatments are much more effective than Rebetron.

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