Viral load doesn’t necessarily correlate with HCV disease progression. For instance, I was tested for viral load many times, and it never exceeded 150,000; but I had stage 3-4 fibrosis per liver biopsy results.
Have you had a biopsy yet? That is considered the best way to gauge scarring/fibrosis, and by extension the urgency to undergo antiviral therapy.
Viral load isnt an important marker for severity of disease,the viral load is only really useful for studying treatment response. Having said that however,people with very low viral loads I think respond better. A viral load of 5million plus wouldnt prevent you responding to treatment though.
Do you have any other info from your blood work ?
Unless you're treating or about to treat, viral load levels for HCV can cause us much fuss about nothing. Personally, I find this a little counter-intuitive but whether high or low, it means zilch outside treatment.
Individuals whose viral loads go up may worry, and those whose viral loads go down may think they're better off than before.
I remember being in the doc's waiting room before starting treatment and the newbies around me were comparing notes, the ones with the high numbers feeling sad, the ones with the low ones looking like they were at least not as badly off as the other newbies.
Well, my doc swore that the number is only useful when starting treatment and in that case, a low number has an edge in combination with lower staging.
It's never quite made sense to me why a high or low viral load doesn't count for something (outside treating) but yes, everything I've heard confirms that.
I think there's only one exception to this and that is in the case of co-infection with HIV, when high HCV viral loads may hasten fibrosis.
So my suggestion is to focus on liver biopsy results, which provides the real stuff you need to know to look after yourself and make decisions. And in the meantime, living a healthy life style is a big plus.
What genoptype are you and have you ever had a biopsy?
If it makes you feel better I had a VL of 8,000,000 and after 10 weeks of treatment I was undetected. BUT ... as others have said, it doesn't matter much until you begin treatment then it's a simple gage as to whether treatment drugs are working. Only a biopsy will tell if there is damage to the liver.
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