some use vl to predict liver damage, but it's not really conventional seeing that a person with a high viral load in the millions may not have as much damage as a person with vl less than that. you numbers actually look low to start with. everyone with chronic hcv progresses at different paces. some people may live their whole life with hcv and die of old age while for a small percentage, hcv can prove lethal. time may be a factor. many hepa recommend getting a liver biopsy to see if individuals should start treating or wait for better drugs to come out.
I was diagnosed with hep c in 1996. I underwent a liver biopsy that showed I had chronic active hep c. I was treated with intreferon injections. The physical and mental effects almost killed me after about 10 months my doctor stopped treatment and told me interferon had not affected the hep c enough to warrant further treatment and I wasn't a candidate for further treatment. I have lived these last few years with extreme fatique and the mental depression and anxiety a disease like this causes.I know a person can live with hep c and die of old age. I have also seen 4 of my friends die within just a short time of being diagnosed. Hep c is like living with a time bomb inside you. Doctors easily dismiss the toll having this disease takes on a person. I am trying to find a hep c doctor in my area,Southwestern Indiana.
Dr Paul Kwo is a GI doc in Indianapolis; I believe he has also been principal investigator with some of the new protease inhibitor class HCV drugs in trial now. You might give him a try if you can get up there; we’ve had a few members in here over the years that have spoken highly of him.
If you treated for your HCV in the 90’s, there have been a lot of positive changes since then. The biggest change has been the “pegylation” of interferon and the addition of ribavirin as well. These have led to a much higher rate of cure, even in the hard to treat population. Additionally, there are many new drugs in clinical trial now; this new class of HCV medicine is collectively known as ‘STAT-C’, or Specifically Targeted Antiviral Therapy. These new drugs will initially be used in conjunction with interferon and ribavirin, but promise greatly improved clearance rates, along with reduced exposure to the interferon. Hang in there, ask questions in here as well as elsewhere, and you’ll eventually prevail. I had to undergo two very long courses of IFN before finally clearing the virus completely.
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