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Hepatitis and HIV CoinfectionHepatitis and HIV Coinfection
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Maribel, come back, advice please!!
Nov 21, 2001

Dear Doctor Roddriguez-Torres, You haven't posted answers to questions for weeks. Are you busy? I just have a very simple question for you: my cousin is chronic hbv and my friend is chronic hcv. He and she are living together in the same house (friends only; no sex but sharing many things: toilet, dishes, cups). Which one should avoid which? Can a person get both hcv and hbv? I think I have asked this question a few times but havenot heard from anyone: which of the two is more serious and harder to cure: HBV or HCV? Thanks a lot for your time, Maribel!

Response from Dr. Rodriguez-Torres

I cannot imagine how people can avoid each other living together.!!.Hepatitis B is only trasmitted by sex or blood contact as in sharing needles,not by casual contact.It is usually cleared from the body,but in 3-5% can become chronic.Hepatitis C ,also is blood borne ,but is more infectious,and the majority of the patients do not clear the virus and remain with chronic disease.Your friends should not share razors or tooth brushes etc.Hep C can also be trasmitted by sex although this route is less frequent.Finally,yes, you can have both C and C coinfection.Which is more serious depends in the immune system of the patient and,or if they have other diseases etc.

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