Cured of Hepatitis C: Is There Potential to Infect Others?
Careful evaluation of the information available shows that the medical community is torn on declaring SVR to be an absolute cure that renders the person no longer infectious. Before sighing in frustration, it is important to remember that the era of improved Hepatitis C therapy has just begun – and it will be many more years before we can eliminate many Hepatitis C uncertainties. In the meantime, Dr. Melissa Palmer, MD, author and internationally-renowned hepatologist suggests the following three scenarios for a return of Hepatitis C after SVR:
- The original diagnosis of being cured after therapy was incorrect due to either inaccurate blood testing or miscommunication.
- There has been a re-infection with a new strain of Hepatitis C.
- Truly relapsing after years of being virus-free must be reported to your physicians in order to alert other physicians.
A relapse of Hepatitis C after SVR is extremely rare, but not unheard of. Because of this possibility, those who have been cured of Hepatitis C are urged to take precautions so as not to accidentally expose anyone to their blood. Until more is known to eliminate this gaping grey area of infectivity, it is advised to err on the side of caution and assume that even those who have been cured may still spread Hepatitis C.
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Supplemental New Drug Application Submitted to FDA by Janssen