Elevated liver enzymes pre-HIV and pre-meds

Question

Hi Dr Holodniy

I had ALT;17 and AST:48 last year when I was HIV negative. Three months after seroconversion, both numbers are in the 80s. I have been tested negative for HBV and HCV in the most recent blood work. I am not on any medication (HAART or others), but I take vitamin supplements. I drink moderately (once or twice a week, each time a couple of glasses of wine or two pints of beer, typically).

My doctor was at a loss as to finding out probable cause of elevated enzymes. Are there other risk factors we should be looking into? Or, are some people more proned to alcohol-related liver damage? (I'd like to believe that my consumption is moderate).

Answer

One can certainly see elevated liver enzymes as a result of acute HIV infection. Three months after HIV infection is a bit long to see elevated enzymes, although it is possible. In addition to alcohol, Hepatitis viruses, other medications, or over the counter medications or supplements can also cause this. I would abstain from any alcohol for a couple of days before your next blood draw.