Hepatitis B (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Acute hepatitis B infection
Acute hepatitis B infection is not treated with antiviral medications.
Chronic hepatitis B infection
The degree of liver damage is related to the amount of active, replicating (multiplying) virus in the blood and liver. Regularly measuring the amount of HBV DNA ('viral load') in the blood gives your physician a good idea of how fast the virus is multiplying. The treatments now in use are classified as antiviral drugs, because they work by stopping the virus from multiplying.
Treatment is usually started when blood tests indicate that liver functions are deteriorating and the amount of replicating HBV is rising. Many people never reach this point. For those who do, the interval between diagnosis and starting treatment is quite variable.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/10/2015
Bhupinder Anand, MD
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