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Hepatitis and HIV CoinfectionHepatitis and HIV Coinfection
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Oct 24, 2001

Dr. - Today I was told I am positive for Hep C with alt test showing 86.I looked at a blood test result from a year ago which showed alt at 57. My doctor has referred me to a specialist , but I am worried now and can't see the new Doctor for 2 weeks. I have never used drugs , I have never used needles , I am a straight male and have never had dental surgery. I had a bllod transfusion in 1976. Should I suspect this as the cause? What does my alt level and the difference between 57 last year and 86 this year say about my condition. What testing should I have now? Thank you - Confused

Response from Dr. Rodriguez-Torres

The blood you received in 1976,was not tested for HCV as the virus was identified later,( 1989),and the blood tests for screening the donor blood were available after 1992.This is most probably your risk factor,but in around 25% of all cases we do not find any.The alt levels usually fluctuate during time, and the level is not associated to the severity of the liver disease. Yous doctor will confirm and quantify the viral load,and evaluate the status of the liver with a liver biopsy.With those results treatment will be considered.

Hep C viral RNa

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