HEPATITIS-B


Chronic infection with Hepatitis B virus may lead to serious complications and 25% to 40% of long term patients may die of cirrhosis or hepatocellular carcinoma. Luckily, only a small percentage of people who suffer from acute hepatitis -B may go into a chronic state. Even without treatment, most of the acute viral hepatitis B clears up on its own.

HIV,HBV and HCV are three major blood borne viruses. Although they are distinctly different, their mode of transmission is blood. HBV is also transmitted through mucous membrane contact. HBV, frequently is sexually transmitted. HBV is a non cytopathic virus and infects liver cells. Initially there is no immune reaction to the virus. This phase is sometimes called "immune tolerant phase" Later in life usually in the thirties and forties the immune system is triggered to attack the hepatocytes (livercells) occupied by the HBV viruses. After many years of silence, there is a flare up of disease . There is an increase in aminotranferase levels and if you take a biopsy, the hepatocytes show evidence of heapatitis . HBV and HIV are co morbidities. The presence of HBV has no adverse effect on HIV but in a patient of HBV, the presence of HIV will hasten development of cirrhosis and liver failure.

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