The VA has stopped testing my husband for any possible HCV viral load because he attained SVR after treatment (in private health care) almost ten years ago. He’s considered (99%-100%) cured. His private gastroenterologist still tests him. Here’s one definition of SVR:
Sustained virologic response (SVR) is defined as aviremia 24 weeks after completion of antiviral therapy for chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. In analyses of SVR durability, the incidence of late relapse weeks after completion of antiviral therapy for chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. In analyses of SVR durability, the incidence of late relapse is extremely low (<1%).
Can we relax now? After all, treatment ended with excellent clinical results. Should the VA spend any more money on these lab tests? Can’t we just deal with the lousy aftereffects of HCV and stop worrying about the virus reactivating? The answer is NO! Besides the fact that one can be reinfected with a new HCV virus (because there is no immunity to it), it appears HCV can be reactivated if you get sick with other illnesses like cancers and/or HIV.
Here’s one recent (May 30, 2014) headline:
Two headlines from PubMed:
HIV/HCV research is in a flux. The VA/DoD/CDC and public health officials are still not transparent when it comes to HCV. We have to be our own best friends when it comes to testing because as SVR boomers become ill with age-related diseases like cancers, HCV can rear its ugly head again and a worse nightmare begins anew.