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hcv+ genotype 3a
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hcv+ genotype 3a

i have been diagnosed with hcv genotype 3a and i am currently undergoing treatment of a weekly shot of pegasys and copegus twice daily. the treatment was instructed for 24 weeks i am currently on week 21 and reached undetectable status at week 14. and i will finish all 24 weeks.
my question is after i am non detect for a period of time is it still possible to pass the hcv through sexual intercourse with my girlfriend or should i keep using condoms for the rest of my life.
we are in a monagomus long term relationship and i do not want to pass this hcv to her as she has been tested and negative. there is no other illness or std between both of us. i am proud to say that we both have lab reports to back this up.
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Avatar_m_tn
There is a very slight chance of sexual transmission is a monogamous heterosexual relationship. I had the disease for over twenty years and never infected any of my girlfriends. I believe the consensus is that the chance of transmission is 3% or lower. Should you continue to wear a condom? It's the absolute safest way so I would say that, if it is tolerable, then continue. Here is the trouble. You won't know for sure whether you have eradicated the virus until 6 months after you stop treatment so, technically, she may still be at risk of infection until that point - undetectable at 3 months after stopping is close to 90% sure but 6 months is the time the experts say you are SVR - sustained viral responder (cured) . HCV is a blood to blood virus so the rougher the sex the greater chance of transmission. That is why transmission in the gay male community is higher than in the heterosexual community. Tissue is more easily torn than is male/female sex. So be gentle if you are not going to wear a condom.
I was with several women for long periods of time and I never wore a condom. Not one of them was ever infected. I know a lot of people who did the same thing with the same result. The difference is that we didn't know we were infected. In fact, I cannot think of anyone I know who got the virus through heterosexual sex - so I think the chances are very very small. But, it is listed as a possible route of transmission so it is not 100% safe.
I wish you the best and I am sorry that I don't have a pat answer for you. You have to decide whether you want to take a 2% or 3% risk.

Good luck,
Mike
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Avatar_n_tn
I concur with the analysis of the sexual risks ( or lack thereof ) given above.
I am concerned though that you did not reach undetectable status until week 14.
This is a slow response particularly for a geno 3a and I would urge you to discuss with your doctor extending the treatment to 48 weeks.
I am not trying to rattle you here but there is a wealth of data on this subject and you should minimise your risk of relapse,which is where the virus 'comes back' after treatment ceases.
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Avatar_m_tn
HCA is absolutely correct. I mistakenly saw it as 4 weeks but he's right - undetectable at 14 weeks is a slow response.
Mike
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Avatar_m_tn
i should clearify that my specialist did not recheck the viral load count until week 14 due to some problems i had in the begining of treatment. ( had to stop treatment for 1 week until we could get my white cells back to a sefer range with the nupagen). wich brings about a new question..... does anyone have any info about how a week interuption of the peg could affect the end results of treatment? i did not really stop the peg for a week i was told to split that weeks injection in half and take one half  on wednesday and the other half on friday witch friday is my normal day. and was also told not to stop the copeg.so i did as i was told.
so i really didnt miss that week i just had to split it up. i also have some lab results that shows my liver enzymes down from 220 range to 42  after week 3 of treatment im pretty sure the enzyme he is tracking so closely is alt  
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