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positive tests
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positive tests

My husband and I recently gave blood. He received notification that he has hep b and hep c. I tested negative. This of course has brought about many questions. How can I determine how long he's had this? Years back, he was an iv drug user. could he have had it since then? If not, is sexual contact with someone else the most reasonable explanation? One more question.. I tested negative, but could I still have one or both?
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Avatar_m_tn
I'd bet it was IV use. You're okay if you tested negative. There is a risk to you with sexual relations with both C and B but with hep c it is quite a low risk (3-5% I think). With hep b the risk is significant and he should probably use condoms. There is no way I know of to aboslutely know how long he has had this. Best guess is all you can do based on his history and behavior. If he had blood transfusion that would be a possibility as well. Hep c is blood to blood transmission for the most part whereas hep b can often be transmitted through exchange of body fluids e.g. sex. Talk with your doctor and do some reading. Good luck. Mike
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Avatar_n_tn
The hep c was most probably from the iv use.  Of the 2, Hep C is the most serious.  The chances of hep c being transmitted by sex are very slim-your test results would tend to verify that.
  Hep b is not as deadly b/still serious.  Treatment(tx) is available for both. I'm not hip to hep b, b/someone will answer hep b concerns.
   You may want to get the vaccine for hep a & hep b.  There are no vaccines for hep c.
   Hep c is a progressive, fatal disease w/life threatening side effects(sx's).  It progresses slowly over time b/often causes life threatening damage before detected.
    He should see a specalist, find out the genotype and amt of damage already done.  That will influence what treatment, if any, is pursued.
   Tell him he's not alone.  4-10 million fellow Americans are infected w/hep c and more w/hep b.
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Avatar_n_tn
I appreciate you sharing what you know! The scary thing is that I thought he was sick months ago. Some days his color was off and he throws up alot. We just found out these results and he hasn't even seen a dr. yet. I do realize the seriousness though and plan to seek treatment soon. Thanks.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am mavric, reshee's husband and I am GRATEFUL to all of you for responding to her question. This has been a very scary time and the time that you took to respond has helped my wife to feel a little more at piece. thank you.
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Avatar_n_tn
If you tested negative,,,,you should be fine!  The thing about hep c is sometimes we have no way of knowing when we got it or even how long and if you don't have any symptoms,,,how would you know?  Its a very complicated disease and seems to hit differently on each person.  The best news is your hubby found out and now can do something about it!  Your dr will advice you but yes a biopsy is the very best starter for checking degree of damage to liver.  Let us know how things are going with you both after dr visit and you both are in my prayers!! God Bless!
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Avatar_n_tn
Could not post a question, so used this one......

I'm somewhat concerned..........Went "Undetectable" on 4/18/04 at 12 weeks, and enzyme counts were improving. Now, except for Billibubin, everything is going back up. Anyone else with 2b have these same typs of results?....3 weeks to go and worried!
Check out GGT......back to before treatment...???

      1/15/04  2/01/04    2/18  3/16  4/13  6/18

ALT      150     102     50      44     54   78
AST       92      66     52             48   65 65                                                            
GGT      96     83    70        61     61     96
Bilirubin     1.4    1.4       1.4     1.3    1.0      
WBC                            2.0     2.4    2.8    
Platelets                      110     115    124    



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Avatar_m_tn
I can understand your concern but I would not get totally undone by these numbers. Fluctuations are not uncommon and elevations like yours are not incompatible with viral clearance. If you are really worried maybe your doctor could order another pcr. I'd try to take this in stride - though I know how hard that is to do sometimes. Still, I would not get discouraged by these numbers. They really aren't bad but I know the trend is what is bothering you. I hope you can relax this weekend. Mike
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Avatar_m_tn
<u>reshee</u> - here's a recent <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=15128350">study</a> about Hep C and it's lack of transmission among monogamous couples.

(from the study):

"<i>Our data indicate that the risk of sexual transmission of HCV within heterosexual monogamous couples is extremely low or even null. No general recommendations for condom use seem required for individuals in monogamous partnerships with HCV-infected partners.</i>"

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=15128350


<u>ellissg</u> - Mike is right on the money about the possibility of levels fluctuating during the course of tx. So the rising numbers in-and-of-themselves do not say that something may be going wrong. You may want to get a viral load test done, to put your mind at ease.


May God's blessing and mercy be upon you.


TnHepGuy
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Avatar_n_tn
I want to gently correct something that New Sorjourn wrote in her post to you.  She said that Hep c is a "fatal disease".  I think she probably meant to say "potentially fatal."  I'm sure you and your husband have enough to worry about and you certainly don't need to feel that you've been handed a death sentance.

Best wishes to you both.

Susan
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks guys. My next VL test will be after the 3 weeks are over.
I've been slacking off on the water, and increased the vioxx. The poor old liver has to process all of it.

Called my Doctor, and he wasn't concerned about the GGT going up. He says that is more of an indication of fatty deposits in the liver, than Virus or Fibrosis.

Steve
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Avatar_n_tn
As for the hep B tests that were done, can you say which tests were done?  If your husband cleared the hep B on his own (which 85-90% of hep B infected people do) he may still carry the antibodies but not the antigens.

If this is the case I believe that he no longer has the virus.  But I am not a doctor and you should ask your doctor to confirm/clarify his hep b status.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hey Guys.  Question.  What does/can a doctor do when your WBC become quite low?  Mine have dropped since the beginning of treatment, but are still within the safe range.  I'm getting tested again on Monday.  Is Procrit just for RBC?  I don't want to stop because my sx are minimal and I cleared at 4 weeks.  Let me know!
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Avatar_f_tn
I saw your posts at the bottom and, just in case you can find way your way back to the forum, you might find some answer to your question.

ALL: this is from w spouse. another newb that has found this forum, but might not know how to get back, but just in case:
. MY HUSBAND HAS HEP. C- TYPE 1aPLATELET COUNT 46/NO TREATMENT MILKTHISLE 3X A DAY, VITAMIN E HE ALSO HAS HAD VARISES & THEY
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Avatar_n_tn
Welcome,
You have come to the right place to ask questions and get answers. The people here are extremely knowledgable. Much more so than most doctors. The people here actually study and follow other studies on hep C. They can and will help you all the way through this. Hep C is a hurry up and wait sort of thing. There are many blood tests and doctor visits ahead so I wouldn't panic just yet. This test done while giving blood could have been wrong too. My husband has it and has had it for about 25 years, we found out about 3 years ago. He is on his second round of tx and is doing fine. He is 20/48. Read down some of the threads so you have an idea of what questions to ask the doctor when you see them. Good Luck and come by often.
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Avatar_n_tn
WOAH...Slow down. Hold The Phone.
If you got those results from those simple blood screening tests they do when you donate blood then you shoyld back up and take a breath.
Those screening tests they do on the blood suppy and donations are very cheap and often inaccurate. I have seen MANY false positives. You need to go to a doctor and get some "Real" tests done. The tests the doctors do are much more accurate and in depth.
Just because you MAY have these things means little until you really know for sure.
Hep B is highly contagious in the early acute stages. But you are also usually VERY sick and you "know" it. Normally your body fights this off on it's own....but sometimes not. It is also possible to become a "carrier" with hep B. But this is not as bad as it sounds. You are only contagious through blood contact at that point.
Hep C is mainly blood to blood and is not all that easy to catch under normal living circumstances.
But before you get all freaked out.....go see a doctor and get the better tests. You may be all worried over nothing but a false positive test.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for trying to calm us down! It's only been few days since we found all this out and there has been a dark cloud over our home since then. Honestly, we don't know that much about hep.
I have heard that hep b is extremely contagious and I'm wondering how I escaped transmission. Is there a time line for testing positive? You said that early on, hep b makes you very sick? For the past few months, he's been throwing up several times a week, headaches, muscle aches, bad color sometimes, etc. I thought we was working too hard or wasn't getting over simple colds. He's had, what we now know to be symptoms, for about six months. Does that mean he hasn't fought it off?
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Avatar_n_tn
What I'm about to say may shock a few or all of you. Since I found out that my husband has hep b and hep c, I've done some serious digging. I've even looked at the possibility of herbal and vitamin treatment. While searching, I came across an article about breast milk. I know, I know, but just listen. Breast milk has just about everything we need, not only to prevent viruses, but to help fight them. I was amazed at the number of people who are taking advantage of all that it has to offer. I would have never thought of that! There are many avenues, if you're interested. You can order expressed milk from donaters, you can have someone you know to donate, as well. The next method is something I didn't even know was possible..induced lactating. That caught my attention. According to many breast feeding foundations, a woman can make herself produce breast milk, even if it's been years since she gave birth. I will not go into the details here, but I'll be glad to answer any questions. Also,it's safe to ingest with all meds, just gives your immune system a real boost! I hope I haven't sounded like some quack. I am just looking into all options...I guess we'll do anything for the ones we love!
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Avatar_n_tn
From my own experience, I agree with ts2010 on these test results. The first level blood test is normally an antibody test and shows whether there was an exposure to the viruses at any time. A positive result does not necessarily indicate active infection, particularly with hep b, which usually resolves and does not become chronic. The next step should for your husband should be to meet with a gastroenterologist or hepatologist who will order up another set of blood tests to determine whether he has active virus (b and/or c) and what the hep c genotype and viral load are. In all likelyhood, he will not be positive for the hep b antigen.
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Avatar_n_tn
hi there, just a thought but after reading your discription of your symptoms over the past few months, i would also encourage you to be tested for HEPATITIS A...( a strain that is often excluded in testing adults )many of us over about 40, likely had hep A as a child and were flu like for a day or two till the body cleared it or rid itself of it...however, if contracted as an adult it is much more difficult and problematic, with symptoms simil;ar to what you are expressing.

i guess all in all....i would add that to the testing you will be asking for, but these tests are not always automatically given at all...you MUST be specific in your request of them.

good luck with everything....glad you found your way to this site....

cheers!!

hey all...hope your all reasonably well and that shot night for those of you 'shottin' aren't doing to badly today....
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Avatar_n_tn
Yeah, I will admit that I was a little creeped out by it at first too. But after thinking about it for a while, the initial shock wore off. I have become very interested in pursing this if needed. My daughter, now eight, was only three pounds when she was born. I had toxemia and almost died. I had an emergency c-section and she was two months early. I was not producing enough milk because I was so sick. The doctors said that an ounce of breast milk for a preemie is worth is weight in gold. We were sent an angel...A radiologist in the hospital heard about us and came to our rescue. She was nursing her four month old and wanted to donate milk for my daughter. I thought it was wierd at first, but my motherly insticts took over and I knew it was best for my baby. She pumped and froze her milk, which was delivered to the nursery. I believe that if we can let go of our issues, we can help others and ourselves. Thanks for responding back!
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Avatar_n_tn
You're exactly right. I have also read articles about men inducing lactation. Lactation is brought about from two chemicals..proclactin and dopamine, which we all have, male and female. Anyway, I realize that breast milk cannot kill the hep virus, but can definitely boost your immune system, while going through treatment. I hope I wasn't giving anyone some kind of false hope. I just wanted to share what I had found out about the benefits of breast milk for sick adults.
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Avatar_f_tn
not only women can induce lactation, some tribes apparently have the men do so also.  breastmilk IS an amazing substance, of which the most vulnerable in our society (infants) are been deprived, and when they finally got some ads together to promote this healthy practice, the formula manufacturers intervened and watered down the ads so that they are not as effective.   Only in America.
I don't think it will kill hep c virus once it has established itself in our systems and reached the chronic stage, or i would be back into milk production.
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