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What does viral load <18 mean? Should the person be seeking treatment?

New diagnosis with viral count UI <18. The person hasn't seen the doctor since viral load test results came out and is worried about what this means. Also, this person is a virgin, doesn't use drugs any idea how it could have been contracted?
7 Responses
Avatar universal
Are you sure that is how it was written?

I have seen <15 and < 1.8 but not < 18.  Please. Check the results again and let us know what it says and what the narrative is that describes it.

Blessings to you and the person.  oh, and BTW, Hep C is not and STD, the only way it is communicable is from blood to blood.  If the person had a transfusion in the early 90s or before, or perhaps a piercing or tattoo, where the ink or needled had not been properly sterilized, or even, dental work, all can transmit the virus, as can other things.  A final thought is what is the person's age?  It is possible in a small percent of cases for the virus to be passed from an infected mother to the child.

If a person has Hep C, where and how they got it only matters so that if it is something they are doing, they can stop.  What is really important, is getting cured.

But the first step is to be sure they are infected, and, until we know more, I do not believe we could say this person is.

Blessings to you both,


Avatar universal
Oops!  I mean I have seen '...< 15 and < 1.18...' Not less than 1.8 as stated.  Sorry.
Avatar universal
Thanks pat. The person is in their mid 20s. The result just says the lower limit of the assay is 18 IU/ML and copies/ML is 67.
Avatar universal
Oh happy new year!
683231 tn?1467323017
The 18 IU/ML is the LLOQ  the lowest level that the test can detect  it looks like he may have a result of a viral load of 67 but with out seeing it I am not sure. What does his doctor say?

Hep c require blood to blood contact to be infected. Also while rare at about 5% odds hep c can be transmitted at birth.

But if he has hep c it matters  not at all where or when you got it only get treated and cured
Avatar universal
Yes you are right he has a 67 viral load. Is this a treatable load? If so any idea what treatments might work and if not what can be done to keep it low or to undetectable levels?
683231 tn?1467323017
If a patient has hep c they should be treated that is if they can obtain treatment.

I don't understand what you mean by a treatable viral load. Any viral .load should be treated. Either you have hep c and you should be treated or you don't which would mean you don't need treatment.

The correct treatment will be determined by his doctor and is determined by his genotype which is determined by blood testing.

Following is a list of the different genotypes of chronic Hepatitis C:

Genotype 1a
Genotype 1b
Genotype 2a, 2b, 2c & 2d
Genotype 3a, 3b, 3c, 3d, 3e & 3f
Genotype 4a, 4b, 4c, 4d, 4e, 4f, 4g, 4h, 4i & 4j
Genotype 5a
Genotype 6a

The correct treatment and treatment duration will be based on his genotype, viral load, prior treatment history, and if he has any liver damage.

The subject of which treatment would fill volumes of material and above all else these questions must be answered a doctor familiar with treating hep c they will determine what treatment and provide a prescription for that treatment and monitor his health while undergoing treatment.

The list of new drugs is too numerous to list especially without knowing his genotype so that we could let you know what medicine his doctor is likely to prescribe. But many of these new meds are highly effective with cure rates for most patients in the above 90 percent range.

There is no means to do anything about viral load except treat and cure hep c. Just to add even if a patient cures hep c they will test positive for life for antibodies to the hep c virus as antibodies are made by your own body in response to infection. Antibodies are not the virus they are made by you.

But again he needs to be seen by a doctor in order to receive treatment
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