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Hepatitis G, also known as GBV-C
Nov 2, 2006

I just read on the news 11/oct/06 that harmless persistent GB virus type C / Hepatitis G infection decreases risk of death in HIV-positive people and apparently they have known that since the early 1990s, how come nothing has been done about it? Is there a way I can catch Hepatitis G? can you tell me more about it?

Response from Dr. Daar

Thank you for your post.

There has been a growing data set suggesting that co-infection with GBV-C is associated with delayed HIV progression. This information has been somewhat conflicting and the best studies were only published in the last several years. Studies are underway to verify these findings and to explore the mechanism behind this unusual relationship. Until this has been sorted out there is little to do clinically. It is also important to note that GBV-C infection does not prevent progression it is just associated with modest delays. We still know little about transmission or if there are any down sides to having this virus. For what it is worth many people are already infected with GBV-C.

Until more data is available the best strategy for managing HIV infection continues to be close follow-up and initiation of antiretroviral therapy when appropriate. This would be true whether one has GBV-C or not since even co-infected individuals experience clinical progression.

Best, Eirc

lowering white blood cells

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