I am 19 years old, a chronic hepatitis b carrier, I have been infected since birth and so is my 17 year old brother. We both have normal alt levels. Our HBsAg results are positive, Anti-Hbe are negative. Our liver ultrasound results are normal but our DNA viral load results are greater than 106,000,000 IU/ml. What does the high dna result mean? Should we be treated immediately? How about my mom? She also has the same results as ours but she has a fatty liver condition now. Should she be treated first? Thanks.
Yes , your mom should be treated as you want the virus to become undetectable.
As for young people like yourself, you are what is called the 'immune tolerant' stage. That means as a kid your immune system doesn't recognize the virus since it is still developing. Usually it is a happy truce in that the virus isn't really doing much damage to the liver. It is just happy to multiply. In the next few years your body will recognize the virus and start attacking. I forget the odds but what will probably happen is the virus will be put into a sort of remission and you will become E antigen Negative and develop antibodies. It is during this phase when your body is attacking the virus when damage is done to your liver.
Luckily there are new drugs on the market that can speed up and help your immune system put you into an inactive carrier state.
Just want to add something. There is no definate time frame for the 'immune tolerant' stage. If you are infected at birth, this stage could last up to 30 plus years. In the past, if your ALT is normal, doctors normally don't treat. But now since one of the goals of treatment is suppressing the virus, your doctor may consider treating. But length of treatment could be an issue given the risk of resistance to antivirals. If you are under 30 and e-Antigen positive, I would talk to a couple of doctors to make a decision in terms of treatment. Your mother should benefit from treatment. Good luck.
hey, thanks for the advice, got to read this just now, got busy with school and all.. i want to clarify something though, what does our dna viral load results mean? i was surpised because it's so high. thanks again :D
The DNA means the virus are actively multiplying, especially in the 'immune tolerant' stage. And I think it measures how many copies of the virus is in your system. Some people has it in the billions. It's like the virus is silently building a large army and when your immune system recognize the virus as foreign, they go to war. That is when you have liver damage. I think most doctor have a timeframe that they want to treat because they want to use meds to reduce the virus army before your immune system declares war on them. This gives your immune systema little help, know what I mean :) I think doctors wants to see the amount at least under 1000 copies, best to be undectected. I suggest you talk to a couple of doctors about your situation to decide if and when to treat. Hope this helps.
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