I know it is hard but dont get hung up on viral load #'s.This is of no concern unless using to gauge how treatment is working. The viral count will fluctuate all the time. The viral load is no indication of fibrosis and liver damage.
Technically, any viral load in excess of 400,000 IU/mL is considered a high viral load; actually, 6,000,000 is fairly average. The thing is, viral load is largely unimportant when managing HCV, and is most important when treatment has commenced. It’s then used as a gauge to treatment response.
The decision to undergo antiviral therapy is determined by liver histology; a biopsy sample is taken and if significant fibrosis (scarring) is present, it’s then best to begin treatment.
How long have you had HCV? Have you had a biopsy, and have you had treatment in the past?
My viral load before I started tx was 6,312,000, then after 2 weeks of tx it was down to 120,000 and two weeks later it is down to 2,000. But as mentioned above, that wasn't what made me decide to do treatment. I was already having symptoms like fatigue (though not as bad as tx fatigue) brain fog, nausea, and achy joints My biopsy results came back stage 2 grade 2 which put me in the middle of the damage range, and I'm 55 which puts me on the downhill side of achieving SVR. I felt that every day I waited, the bigger chance there was of not reaching SVR, and I still have an 11 and a 13 year old at home who need their mom to be up to the challenge of 2 teenagers.
I'm a 1a too, by the way. If your biopsy comes back showing not too much damage so far, you may choose to wait for the new meds that will increase your chance of SVR.
does a high viral load usually indicate poor response to treatment? I know diane12855's number look really good but this is probably not the norm. I have just begun a 48 week trial with boceprevir. My starting viral load is a little over 6 million 2 weeks ago. they drew blood yesterday, but I won't know the current viral load for a little while. the boceprevir doesn't start until 4 weeks after treatment with riba and interferon only, then all three for 44 more weeks if you attain svr at 12 weeks. If still detectable at 12 weeks you are out of the study.
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