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About to start harvoni, viral load is 8m

Hello fellow sufferers, I’m new to this group and am pretty scared. I start Harvoni in a week after my find my genotype out, but my viral load is in the 8 million. Is that something I should worry about and does that cause more damage to my liver than other viral loads, because I have felt a pain for quite some time. Blood tests say my enzymes are in the mid 300s and that there’s no indication of cirrhosis and I’ve only had it for four years and I’m 30 yrs old. Who can give me some insight and help to at least give me some answers. Thank you so much for your time and help.

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  • highmaintenance
    2 years ago

    You may be cured by now.

  • highmaintenance
    2 years ago

    Around 5years post Liver Transplant I was able to get into a Research Program from Gilead testing the dual compound that later after FDA approval was named “Harvoni”. My virual loaf was in the Millions. I was in the 24 week trials & just a few months later I substantiated a SVR Of ZERO=0, 3 years later. The Harvoni had very little side affects. My #1 was anemia. Excited to hear that you’ll be taken Harvoni. There will be a pleasing results. Slaying Dragons

  • Rick Nash
    2 years ago

    Yo @jsgibson925

    8 Million tells us very little. Think of it like any data point, you need to know at least three to get a trend line. What the number does let us know is that your liver has a moderately high amount of the virus in your system. Things like ALT, AST, ALK phos, and other liver function tests are better indicators of your overall liver health and outlook.

    I’m close to your age, 32, and until last year had it all my life. It takes nearly 20-30 years of infection for the virus to cause serious liver damage. At age 18 my count was 3.3 million with minimal fibrosis (F2) by 24 it was 10 million with some levels of cirrhosis (F3 bordering on F4.)

    With no cirrhosis, and four years of infection it’s likely that a shorter round of treatment would be successful, so you probably won’t have to do the 24 weeks like someone with extreme liver damage has to go through. Make sure to know your Genotype, and talk with your doctor about your treatment options if that’s what you want to do.

    Hepatitis C can cause different symptoms in different people [genetic factors, co-morbidity(multiple conditions) and lifestyle all play a role in liver health.] My mother and I had different symptoms from the same bevy. So the pain you’re experiencing could be as a result of Hep C; thankfully, early on those pains are easier to manage.

    I’ve done a lot of different things to mitigate the pain, but one of the best things that I’ve found works for me was focusing my diet and exercise on liver health, and practicing mindfulness.

    When seeking pain relief it’s important to know what impacts the liver, so in your quest for relief you don’t unknowingly assist the virus.

    There are pain relief drugs that directly impact liver function: Vicodin and Acetaminophen(Tylenol) are among the more common ones.If a doc suggests them, ask them why, as it’s important to advocate for yourself. I was unlucky enough to not be aware of this when my former hepatologist prescribed Vicodin.
    There are also non-narcotic pain medications which don’t impact the liver; I’ve been on Gabapentin and Tramadol. (I’m not suggesting to try these, but rather to talk to your doc about your options and build a plan where you’re comfortable with the amount of control you have.)

    Because the truth about pain relief drugs is that it’s a battle between functionality and pain. Which is why things like mindfulness are important.

    -Rick Nash ( Dragon-slaying 6 time treatment vet and transplant recipient)

    PS I’ve never Identified as a sufferer, and though it seems in jest, I hope you don’t see yourself in that light. You’ve got a dragon to slay, a positive self-image and self confidence will help you more than you can imagine on the road ahead.

  • JayNick
    2 years ago

    Hey there,
    Took full treatment of Harvoni in 2015. NO side effects at all!! Cleared of virus after treatment. Virus returned 6 weeks later. Started on Vikeria and ribavirin. BAD stuff that ribavirin. Got a second opinion at UNC Chapel Hill. Was told stop taking Vikeria. Just started on Vosevi. Dr. much more optimistic. Were you tested for resistance to Harvoni? My hep c 1a is resistant to meds in Harvoni and Vikeria. New drugs constantly being approved!
    Stay strong this can be beat.

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