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Hepatitis
Feb 7, 2000

Please describe Hepatitis C and it's different forms and how one gets it and whether it is passed from person to person. What are it's symptoms and does it get progressively worse? My husband either has it or it has been found dormant??? in his blood. I do not understand. He takes many meds and has about 145 CD 4 count. viral count lately is 200 though was way higher recently when he had been off all meds for a few months. Worried about transmission to me, and if it is causing his aches and pains and major fatigue.

Response from Dr. Feinberg

Hepatitis C can be dormant and not cause active liver damage or symptoms, or it may be active. Activity can be measured by a Hep C viral load test called a "bDNA", and also by checking routine liver blood tests (although sometimes these are normal). Transmission is primarily by blood, so don't share toothbrushes or razors. Some experts think that it may be transmitted sexually, but that isn't at all clear at this time. Nonetheless, you should ALWAYS practice safe sex. Fatigue and non-specific aches could be due to Hep C, but also to HIV itself, anemia, and many other kinds of problems. He should ask his doctor to check his liver blood tests and to send a Hep C bDNA, and possibly to refer him to a liver specialist (hepatologist).


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