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Various body parts that can be affected by co-infections

Co-Infections Associated with Hepatitis C

Various co-infections can be common with hepatitis C. It’s important to understand what the co-infections are in order to be tested and seek the necessary treatment.

The most common co-infections with hepatitis C are hepatitis B and/or HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus).

Common co-infections:

  • Hepatits B
  • HIV
  • Infection with more than one hepatitis C (HCV) genotype

What should I know about these co-infections?

For hepatitis C (HCV)/hepatitis B (HBV) patients, treatment for hepatitis C has a high cure rate for HCV and may reduce liver damage if treatment is taken early.

The Hepatitis B Foundation states, “The primary concern with HBV/HCV co-infection is that it can lead to more severe liver disease and an increased risk for progression to liver cancer (HCC)”.1 Early treatment is recommended.

HIV.gov states, “People with HIV infection in the United States are often affected by chronic viral hepatitis; about one-third are coinfected with either hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV). More people living with HIV are infected with HCV than with HBV. About 1 in 10 people living with HIV are coinfected with HBV, and about 1 in 4 people are coinfected with HCV.”2

How can I prevent them?

Since many of the transmission risks are similar, it’s important to be tested and understand how to treat hepatitis C along with other co-infections. Testing is proactive and can help save lives.

Though there are no vaccines for hepatitis C and HIV, all hepatitis C and HIV patients should be vaccinated for hepatitis A and hepatitis B.

It is possible that a hepatitis C patient can be infected with more than one genotype (virus strain) of hepatitis C at the same time. There are 7 known genotypes of hepatitis C, with 1-6 being the most common. There are a variety of treatment options available for all genotypes.

What should I ask my doctor?

It’s important to discuss any prior diagnosis of all medical conditions with your physician. Patients with co-infections should see a specialist who has expertise with co-infections.

Be proactive. Talk with your physician and healthcare team about the following:

  1. Ask for testing if you are concerned about a certain condition or co-infection. Discuss all tests you have received and ask for a copy of all test reports. Know how to access any online patient portal to communicate with your physician.
  2. Discuss the condition of your liver (as shown by blood tests, MRI, liver biopsy/Fibroscan, etc).
  3. Blood work: genotype testing to determine virus strain, viral load to show viral activity.
  4. Treatment options
  5. Transmission precautions that need to be taken.
  6. All symptoms you’re experiencing
  7. Other medical conditions you may have and how these are affected
  8. Medications (prescription and over-the-counter) and all vitamins and supplements you take
  9. Discuss any changes you need to make to your diet, exercise, medications, etc
  10. Ask about seeking a specialist if you have been diagnosed with an additional condition or co-infection with hepatitis C

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The HepatitisC.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

  1. Hepatitis C Coinfection. Hepatitis C Foundation. http://www.hepb.org/what-is-hepatitis-b/hepatitis-c-co-infection/. Accessed February 4, 2019.
  2. Hepatitis B Virus and Hepatitis C Virus Infection. HIV.gov. https://www.hiv.gov/hiv-basics/staying-in-hiv-care/other-related-health-issues/hepatitis-b-and-c. Published May 15, 2017. Accessed February 4, 2019.

Comments

  • MEMAVTHINM
    7 months ago

    This year, 2019, on July 4th, I will be celebrating the ten year anniversary of my liver transplant, necessitated by my Hepatitis C infection. I cleared the virus and have been “non detect” since 2011. I am doing really well and feeling extremely grateful. I am also feeling a strong need need to share my complete story in writing in a format and media that would likely be frequented by others affected by the disease, either directly or indirectly. I always knew that I would want to write about my experiences, but that it would require a clear head and an environment at least reasonably free of major distractions. I am at that point and I’m ready to proceed. Does anyone have experience that may be helpful. Once I start writing, I don’t know where this will take me….

  • Connie Welch moderator author
    7 months ago

    Hi Memavthinm,
    Congratulations on your liver transplant anniversary!!! What an awesome mile marker! As for writing and sharing your story, that is fantastic. Sounds like you have a passion for sharing hope. I have a website where I began writing and sharing my journey and providing resources for those with liver disease. I’m celebrating 7 years of being cured. The website has grown in amazing ways and I’m a patient advocate who keeps on sharing with those who need hope. Keep on sharing my friend. Everyone needs encouragement and hope.

  • Booboosthor1975
    7 months ago

    I woke up today with MRSA . It came back again. This is the 8 th time in the 7 months since I took Epclusa that cured me. I feel sick all the time scared:(

  • Connie Welch moderator author
    7 months ago

    Hello, Booboosthor1975,
    I’m sorry you are dealing with this. Are you seeing an infectious disease physician? If not, please consider to. MRSA requires specialized antibiotics and testing. This can be totally unrelated to treatment with Epclusa but since this happened so close to treatment I certainly understand your concern. With proper antibiotics, you will get over this, don’t give up. Keep us posted on how you’re doing. We care about how you’re doing.

  • Connie Welch moderator author
    7 months ago

    You are so welcome! Keep us posted on how you’re doing.

  • Booboosthor1975
    7 months ago

    Thankyou

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