Congratulations on the negative 6 month PCR ! Great news : ) !
For what it is worth .. there is still a very small chance of what is called a "late relapse" , occurring after 6 months EOT (end of Tx) ..... It only affects a very small group, apx. 1.5% of patients , it is documented occurrence and ... for my thinking ... I would continue to do a PCR test at the 1 year eot , and as alagirl points out .. she does yearly tests ... so do friends of mine that have cleared years ago ... and i will also ... if I get a svr .... better to be safe than sorry .. imo
Before anyone chastises me for my views on using the term "cured" at the 6 month PCR being Und ..
Maybe read some studies like the following :
How sustained is sustained viral response in patients with hepatitis C infection?
SVR is durable in most patients, but some patients do have late relapse; long term follow up may be particularly important in a subset of patients with HCV infection who have liver cirrhosis.
Long-term follow-up of chronic hepatitis C patients with sustained virological response to various forms of interferon-based anti-viral therapy.
Conclusions : No recurrence of HCV infection was seen in any patient. Thus, long-term prognosis in chronic hepatitis C patients with a sustained virological response to therapy with pegylated interferon +/- ribavirin is promising, but long-term studies need to continue.
The important words here are :
" patients with a sustained virological response to therapy with pegylated interferon +/- ribavirin is promising, but long-term studies need to continue."
They use the word - "Promising" , they do not state - Conclusive .... only 187 patients were followed for 29 months in this study
Relapse of hepatitis C in a pegylated-interferon-alpha-2b plus ribavirin-treated sustained virological responder.
Sustained virological response to pegylated interferon and ribavirin is maintained during long-term follow-up of chronic hepatitis C patients.
Sustained virological response to PEG-IFN and ribavirin is maintained in 99% of patients during long-term follow-up. Late virological relapse occurred within 1 year after SVR and, from a clinical perspective, patients can be considered cured of infection after this period.
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