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Is there really a cure for Hep C?
Apr 12, 2014

I know "THE BODY" deals mainly with HIV. However, a "cure" for Hep C is mentioned at your site and if your treat HIV you must see Hep C patients. I am confused about the use of the word "cure" when talking about Hep C. I thought hep C is a retro virus and even if all the Hep C viruses in the blood stream were dead, the Hep C RNA within functional cells could still replicate. I know that if a person has natural active immunity to Hep B and they have Beta Cell Lymphoma the Hep B can make a comeback. Is Hep C different? I am Hep C positive and, last time he had blood drawn, I did not have a detectable amount of Hep C RNA in my blood. I was told to still use condoms. Was I misinformed?

Thanks, David McEvoy

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thanks for posting.

You have been misinformed.

Yes, we do a lot of work with hepatitis C virus (HCV)- and yes, HCV is curable.

HCV is not a retrovirus at all. HCV is sexually transmitted, particularly among men who have sex with men.

[It's hepatitis B virus that integrates it's chromosome into the human chromosome (like a retrovirus).]

If you are HCV antibody positive, but HCV RNA negative, you're among the fortunate minority (~25%) of individuals who naturally clear (or cure) the virus without medications.

So in the end, while you've been exposed to HCV, if your HCV RNA is negative, then you're not chronically infected, nor are you contagious. I'd still suggest condoms not from the perspective of whether you can infect someone else, but from the perspective that you don't want to get reinfected with HCV (it happens) or infected with other sexually transmitted infections.

I hope that's helpful, BY

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