Spotlight Series on Hepatitis C


Patient Guide: 10 Pointers for People With Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) and HIV Infection

Summer 2014

  1. HCV may not make you feel sick for many years after you become infected. But HCV continues to damage the liver during this period. People who run a risk of HCV infection (see points 3, 4, and 5) should get tested for HCV.
  2. You can slow liver damage by avoiding alcohol and drugs that affect the liver, including some nonprescription drugs and party drugs. Your health care provider can tell you which drugs are most likely to affect the liver.
  3. You can avoid passing HCV to a sex partner by always using a condom during sex.
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  5. You can avoid passing HCV to someone else by not sharing sex toys, razors, toothbrushes, dental appliances, or tattoo equipment.
  6. The most frequent way HCV gets spread is by sharing drug-injecting equipment. Sharing injecting equipment can also pass HIV to an injecting partner. Never share injecting equipment.
  7. Tell sex partners you have HCV and suggest that sex partners get tested for HCV.
  8. Pregnant women can pass HCV to the fetus. Pregnant women who have both HCV and HIV run a higher risk of transmitting either virus to the fetus than do women infected with only HCV or HIV.
  9. Pregnant women should not take the HCV drugs ribavirin and interferon. Women and men taking ribavirin should use contraceptive methods throughout ribavirin therapy and for 6 months after completing ribavirin therapy.
  10. Children born to HCV-infected mothers should be tested for HCV.
  11. Some anti-HIV drugs (antiretrovirals) may affect the liver more in people with HCV. Your health care provider will want to check your liver function regularly if you are taking anti-HIV drugs.

From U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration. Guide for HIV/AIDS clinical care. January 2011.

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Reader Comments:

Comment by: Orlando James (Camp Springs, Md 20746) Thu., Jun. 4, 2015 at 5:02 pm UTC
I am a co-effected person living with HIV and HCV. I tested positive for both almost 30 years ago. The doctors put me on a HCV regiment but the side affects was so unbearable till I had to be taken off the therapy; also it was not working.
Now the FDA has approved a drug that cures 99% of persons effected with HCV. Unfortunantly because I smoke marijuana daily the insurance company will not approve the treatment. I do not drink, I do not do recreational drugs, I am not engaging in sex with random persons. I do not think that it is fare to deny me treatment simply because I smoke marijuana. Smoking marijuana over the past 30 years has been the only thing that helps me to deal with this co-infection. I tried to stop smoking so that I can take advantage of the treatment however I find myself depress, moody, lost of appietite and my viral load has went from undetectable to detectable. I really don't know what to do. I am not satisfied with the fact that I have to stop smoking weed in order to take advantage of this new drug. This might be the case for a lot of us weed smokers.
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Comment by: Herbert (Mogadishu somalia.) Sun., Mar. 22, 2015 at 9:32 pm UTC
Hcv z common in East Africa ma concern z hw can it be cured
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