The following is a physician-patient interaction that took place within TheBody.com's "Ask the Experts" forum on hepatitis.
|hep c treatment
Jan 7, 2013
I am a health care worker and exposed to needle stick injury 3 months ago now on routine check up hep c is reactive ... is there any treatment available for this hep c?
| Response from Dr. Taylor
Yes treatment is available for hepatitis C infection. C is for cure! Hepatitis C may be cured with medications. Talk with your doctor about treatment options as new medications are under development, and future medications should be better tolerated and more effective than current medications.
Clarify with your doctor that this is really a new infection. Was your hepatitis C test non-reactive at the time of the needlestick?
If your hepatitis C infection is as new as it sounds, there is still a chance that your body may clear the infection on its own. This often happens with health care workers who acquire hepatitis C through a needle stick injury. So talk with your doctor about checking for the hepatitis C virus itself, the HCV RNA, on at least 2 occasions. There is the possibility that you may clear this infection without the need for medications.
If after waiting for 12 weeks with a new infection the virus is still in the blood, getting treated in the acute, or early stage of infection, is associated with a very high chance of cure. If you cannot access hepatitis C medications or do not want treatment now, and your infection is truly new, you have some time to wait before treatment is necessary, as your liver should not become damaged right away. If you are HIV-infected or older than age 40, the liver may develop scarring more quickly. Try to stop smoking or using alcohol if these substances are part of your life now.
Return to our full listing of answers to patients' frequently asked questions regarding hepatitis C transmission, testing, management and treatment.