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elevated viral load
Jul 28, 2005

I got Hep C (type 1a) 22 years ago. My viral load just jumped from 600,000 to 6 million in 6 months. How alarmed should I be? My doctor does not recommend the interferon therapy because of limited cirrhosis (1+ on my biopsy 2 years ago) and relatively low enzyme levels (which have remained at about 60 for 10 years). What does my viral increase indicate? What should I do? Mark Z

Response from Dr. Holodniy

That seems unlikely. I wonder if the assays were different between the two measurements? We don't have a lot of natural history data on HCV viral load like we do in HIV viral load, but what data exists suggests that the viral loads are relatively stable over that time period. Whenever results are obviously different it is always good to repeat them. The question is, if it really has gone up what should one do? There is no urgency for treatment and the question is whether another biopsy would indicate anything different now, or should you just stay the course and continue to monitor liver functions over time.



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