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Seroconversion Time
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An_252689 posted:
Hi, I have a question about seroconversion. Would being infected with HIV/Hep C/Hep B at the same time and from the same exposure delay seroconversion time? Would a 5 1/2 month HIV test still be conclusive? Also, wouldn't one be noticeably sick 5 1/2 months after contracting all three of these? Thank you.
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georgiagail responded:
No, seroconversion time would not be affected at 5 1/2 months by being infected by all three of these viruses. The immune system is far stronger than most people realize.

Except for a short term bout of flu like symptoms 2 to 6 weeks after transmission, someone infected with the virus will have no symptoms for many years. It's not until the immune system has been severely damaged by HIV that opportunistic infections begin to appear. In an untreated individual this begins to be seen about a decade after the initial infection.

Now...if someone has been infected with Hepatitis C PRIOR to the HIV infection long enough that there has been some damage to the liver already from THIS virus, the progression to opportunistic infections from HIV might certainly be quicker but only because the body has already been affected by the previous virus.

I hope this makes sense.

Gail
 
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An_252689 replied to georgiagail's response:
Gail,

Thank you, I really appreciate your quick reply. So I can rest assured that I do not have HIV? Also,with all three viruses, both Hep B and C would be exacerbated, right? So someone who was infected 5 1/2 months ago would already be showing hep-related symptoms? I am not showing any Hep symptoms at this time, so that's why I am curious. Thank you!
 
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georgiagail replied to An_252689's response:
If testing done at 5 1/2 months has shown you are HIV negative, then yes, you can trust these test results.

And no, someone who was infected with hepatitis 5 1/2 months ago would not be showing symptoms either. To learn ones status would also require testing for these particular viruses.

Gail
 
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An_252689 replied to georgiagail's response:
Gail,

Okay, thank you. I was confused after reading some things that said if an individual develops an acute Hep C infection, one would need to re-test at the year mark to rule out late seroconversion because the antibodies would be delayed from fighting separate viruses. I appreciate your answer, it makes me feel better. I'm just curious, what do you think is the rational behind having someone test out to the year mark? Are there any cases where this would be necessary. If my 5 1/2 month Hep C antibody test comes back positive, should I re-test for HIV? Also, wouldn't someone infected with all three viruses be clearly sick? I know not with just two, but what about 3? Thank you for your time!
 
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georgiagail replied to An_252689's response:
I have no idea regarding the suggestion to test out to 1 year.

Even those whose immune systems have been severely damaged by other serious medical issues (i.e., organ transplants or those who have undergone chemotherapy for cancers) need test only until the six month mark.

Gail
 
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An_252689 replied to georgiagail's response:
Interesting, me either. There's just so much different information out there. I appreciate your help. Also, I don't know if you would know this (I'm taking a chance because HIV/Hep C so often go hand in hand), but do normal ALT/AST levels at 13 weeks suggest that one does not have Acute Hep C? How long would the liver enzymes stay elevated after initial infection? Thank you again.
 
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georgiagail replied to An_252689's response:
Nope....Interestingly, we might see significantly elevated ALT/AST levels in Hepatitis A as this is an acute inflammatory disease which tends to run it's course fairly rapidly with little or no permanent liver damage. In Hep C these levels may be only mildly elevated although this strain can end up causing significant damage to the liver over time.

And HIV and Hepatitis C really do not go hand in hand all that often.

Gail
 
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An_252689 replied to georgiagail's response:
Gail,

Thank you very much for your help. I asked because I had read that even during Acute Hep C, liver enzymes are usually elevated (albeit, not as much as in Hep A or and that they tend to go down over time and can even be normal during chronic infection. So normal ALT's wouldn't be reassuring at all? Even if they were on the low end of normal? Thanks again.
 
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georgiagail replied to An_252689's response:
No, you can't diagnose Hepatitis C from ALT levels.

Gail


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