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I don't know what to do
Aug 29, 2001

Dear Dr. Dieterich

I have been infected with HCV for at least 20 years. I only found out 4 years ago. I feel fine in general. I had a biopsy 3 years ago and the gastro doc said that the inflammation is minimal. He said that if I was infected for this long, I'll probably be fine. I never drink alcohol anyways, so that's not a problem.

Around 14 weeks ago, I had what everyone described to me as an extremely low risk enocounter. My doctor doesn't even recommend an HIV test. Nevertheless, I am very worried. Especially since I have read that HCV can delay HIV antibody production.

Is this true? Does it apply only to simultaneous exposure to both viruses, or would it also apply to me??

If I test now for HIV, how much comfort can I get from the test?

Also, if by some misfortune, I were infected with HIV, would I be experiencing some particular symptoms because of my HCV status???

Thank you very much for your time doctor. Keep up the good work.

Response from Dr. Dieterich

Hepatitis C is not known to influence HIV seroconversion. I would not worry about that. However, your low risk encounter is obviously on your mind and you should therefore be tested for HIV. There is no reason to guess,it is dangerous! Stay safe! DTD



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