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Avatar universal

Acute Hep C Viral Load

It has been about 2.5 months since my exposure to HCV, and I just found out my viral load is 878 IU/mL, or 2.94 log, and my Genotype is 3a.  I am a 28 year old female of European decent (I say this because apparently being young, female, and not African American are all factors that increase your chances for spontaneous clearance) and I have been living extremely healthy since I tested positive a month ago, taking immune boosters and liver supplements and eating a plant based diet and exercising.  I have always been pretty healthy in terms of diet and exercise, and I have never been a big drinker.  My only vice is I'm a smoker.  I was exposed from briefly dating someone with the virus who I caught shooting up. Until then, I had no knowledge of his drug use and he still hasn't disclosed to me that he has hep C, but I'm drawing my own conclusions because he was an IDU and here we are with me having it.  So I think I was exposed sexually, but he had some oral surgery while we were dating and I kissed him and remember tasting blood, so it could have been from that. I just don't know.

Anyway, I started having symptoms (vomiting, extreme fatigue) about a month after my exposure and then got tested for the virus after I went to the doctor for my symptoms and found out that my ALT levels were over 1500.  About a week after I tested positive (didn't get tested for my viral load or genotype then, just found out I had the HCV RNA in my blood), I developed jaundice that lasted for about 2 weeks.  All in all, I was very sick (dark urine, vomiting, abdominal pain, jaundice, extreme fatigue) for about 3.5 weeks.  Then my symptoms started to subside, my appetite and coloring came back, and now I feel fine.  Last week I got tested to find out my viral load and genotype, and from what I have read online, my viral load is very low and my genotype is one of the hardest to treat now, but some studies have suggested that people with genotype 3 have a higher rate of spontaneous clearance.  So that is what I'm hoping for.  I was referred to a hepatologist 6 weeks ago and they just called me today and gave me an appointment for the end of the month.  They want me to get my viral load tested again in 2 weeks, so I guess I'll find out more then, but my question is, with my viral load being so low, could I possibly be one of the lucky few who experiences spontaneous clearance?  That is what I'm hoping and praying for, and I just want to talk to someone who knows something.  Please give me advice.
4 Responses
683231 tn?1467323017
About 25% of people spontaneously clear hep c you will just have to wait and see.

The good news is hep c is now very treatable so either you clear on your own or you will treat and be cured. I know this is stressful for you but one way or the other you will be fine.

Good luck
Lynn
Avatar universal
Yes, I know the statistics and I've read a million different case studies about spontaneous clearance and they all seem to contradict each other, but I can't find any real information on what I can do to increase my chances of spontaneous clearance.  Is there anything I can eat, any supplements I can take?  I'm scared of having to get treatment, not only because the treatment for genotype 3 isn't as advanced as the treatment for genotype 1, but also because I know that my insurance will deny me, or make me try the old interferon/ribavirin treatment first, which I am really afraid of due to the horrible side effects and the lengthy treatment time.  Spontaneous clearance or clinical trials of new drugs are my only real hope of getting rid of this virus before it scars my liver, and I'm driving myself crazy searching the internet for information, so I wanted to join this community and ask people who have been in my shoes.  Any advice would be so appreciated... I'm scared and confused and I just want to know what to do.
Avatar universal
Hi GoldenGirl,

I don't know much about spontaneous clearance, but I did find this article about Bristol-Meyers Sqibb's drug and genotype 3.   It looks like it is effective.

http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm455888.htm

I know this must be a frightening experience for you, but try to stay optimistic as it sounds like you are taking very good care of yourself.   I know the whole issue of the cost of these drugs is very upsetting - it sounds like these drug companies are run by a bunch of greedy jerks / sociopaths.   But as more drugs are approved, the costs will come down.   And the Federal Government is stepping in as so many veterans are Hep C positive and they don't want to spend the VA's whole budget on these drugs.   And then there's always the option of doing a little "medical tourism" to somewhere where the drugs are cheap.

Hang in there!
Avatar universal
I had HCV, Gt 3 for more than 40 years and was treated w/ Sovaldi/Ribavirin for 24 weeks and, Thank God, I am now Hep C free - reached SVR June 2015, and still clear, Dec 2015.  

At that time the Sol/RIBA was the best available for gt3.  I was blessed, and lucky, but my Dr & I had discussed the next step, should that be necessary.  Daklinza was not FDA approved and on the Market then, but my Dr was involved in some trials so he knew about it and said, that if the Sol/RIBA did not work the next step would be the Dac and Sovaldi which would.  

I am so grateful that I did not have to take that next step, but, as Sparky said, Dac is now on the Market and available, so you will get to go that way, should you have to treat.  

Just to help yourself along, quit drinking alcohol altogether, and quit smoking. It is my understanding that EVERYTHING you eat, drink or put on your skin is processed through you liver and you want it to have the best care possible.  Drink LOTS of water along with your healthy diet and keep up the exercise.  The water should be 1 ounce per pound of body weight, up to 1/2 your body weight, each day.

Take a deep breath, exhale, and relax.  This is a new age and Hep C IS definitely treatable, and not with the side effects of the past, from what I hear and read.  

Good luck and Blessings,  Pat
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