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hepatitis c virus

Michael Poidinger mikep at uniwa.uwa.edu.au
Fri Sep 23 15:57:25 EST 1994


In article <35t28i$407 at linda.teleport.com> laurie at teleport.com (Laurie Sonnenfeld) writes:
>From: laurie at teleport.com (Laurie Sonnenfeld)
>Subject: hepatitis c virus
>Date: 22 Sep 1994 15:59:30 -0700
>Summary: are research tests available anywhere?
>Keywords: hepatitis

>my spouse has hepatitis c. In reading the literature on US healthlink, 
>I see that researchers tests for the "levels of viremia", not just for 
>the existence of the virus. They apparently have a way to quantify the 
>level of the virus. At least one resercher found, for instance, that the 
>people with lower levels of the virus responded best to the 
>conventionally offered treatment--interferon. 

Correct

>question one--is there any way to get access to these types of tests? Our 
>physician says, no. She says all they can do is test for the presence of 
>the virus, and test liver enzyme levels, and perhaps do a (risky) liver 
>biopsy to determine the condition of the liver. The problem is that the 
>liver enzyme tests fluctuate a lot in relation to food intake, stress & 
>other factors, it seems. So it is hard to use them to evaluate treatment.

Your doctor is wrong. Quantification of Hep C in the the body is not easy, but 
one or two tests using rather novel technology claims to be able to do it.  
The main problem is twofold. Firstly, these tests tend to be expensive, so are 
not in routine use, and secondly, a lot of them are in developmental stages, 
and not ready for marketing.  I went recently to the 2nd International Meeting 
on Hepatitis C and Related Viruses conference where  4 or 5 alternative types 
of assay were mentioned.  Leafing thru the abstract book now comes up with the 
following...

Chiron have a bDNA test (Called here the Quantiplex(TM) Chiron bDNA assay) 
which measures hepatitis C levels.  I gather it is available, and your best 
shot

Roche have a prototype. Not sure if it's available

>question two (& three)--does anyone know of a hepatitis c internet support 
>group or news group? Is this totally the wrong place to post this?

No idea, and I think this is a good place to post the question. maybe try some 
of the other support newsgroups

>item 4--my spouse has undergone alternative treatment for the past 9 
>months or so, acupuncture, chinese herbs, naturopathic supplements to 
>support the liver, and some dietary adjustments. His symptoms improved a 
>great deal during this treatment (symptoms: fatigue, irritability, low 
>energy, depression, low immunity to colds & coughs). The liver enzymes, 
>however remained in the same general range.  

Which I guess tells you what you already guessed.  The natural medicines made 
him fell better, but probably have little real effect on the disease.

>any 
responses very welcome!

>as follow-up if appropriate, or to laurie at teleport.com.
>-- 
>laurie at teleport.COM  Public Access User --- Not affiliated with TECHbooks
>Public Access UNIX and Internet at (503) 220-1016 (2400-14400, N81)


Finally, I should add that spouse spouse xmission of virus does occur but 
rarely, and seems to be more dependent on the length of time spent together 
rather than actual sexual activity.  I seem to rememebr 10 years as a 
breakpoint.

DISCLAIMER: I am not an expert in the Hep C field, and am only repaeting what 
I remeber others saying. I might be wrong, they might be wrong.

Mike


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Dr Mike Poidinger        
Microbiology, UWA       ==> Animal Welfare NOT Animal Rights       
Australia                        ==> Sonic the Hedgehog says "It's your cone"
mikep at uniwa.uwa.edu.au 
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