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info about interferons please
Sep 3, 2000

I have a friend who was infected with HIV 2 years ago, and is in fact co infected with Hep. C. I have done a lot research lately, and have frequently seen interferons brought up when talking about HIV/AIDS. Unfortunately, I do not know much about it, but i have also read that alpha interferons are good for HCV. I have also heard of combining interferons with ranitidine. Please help me -- I would like to make some suggestions to my friend, but am very confused. Thanks

Response from Dr. Dieterich

Dear Confused,

Interferon is a cytokine that has immunostimulatory properties which can help several diseases. Interferon alfa is licensed to treat hepatitis C and B. Interferon beta is licensed to treat MS. Interferon alfa has some activity against HIV as well. Some people have studied interferon and lamivudine against hepatitis B, I have not heard of ranitidine. If your friend has hepatitis C he should be evaluated and possibly treated by an MD who knows the subject. Please look at the hepatitis forum it has lots of information. Good Luck! DTD

Douglas T. Dieterich, M.D.

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