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AIDS. 2003 Nov 7;17(16):2279-90.

Update on chronic hepatitis C in HIV/HCV-coinfected patients: viral interactions and therapy.

Erratum in

  • AIDS. 2004 Jan 2;18(1):135.


With highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), HIV-infected patients can now live longer and healthier lives, and other comorbid diseases, such as chronic hepatitis C, have emerged as a significant health concern. Coinfection with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) may limit life expectancy because it can lead to serious liver disease including decompensated liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. HCV-induced fibrosis progresses faster in HIV/HCV-coinfected persons, although HAART may be able to decrease this disease acceleration. Combination therapy for HCV with interferon and ribavirin can achieve a sustained viral response, although at a lower rate than in HCV-monoinfected patients. Combination treatment with pegylated interferon and ribavirin will probably emerge as the next HCV therapy of choice for HIV/HCV-coinfected patients. HCV combination therapy is generally safe, but serious adverse reactions, like lactic acidosis, may occur. Cytopenia may present a problem leading to dose reductions, but the role of growth factors is under study. All HIV/HCV-coinfected patients should be evaluated for therapy against the hepatitis C virus. A sustained viral load will probably lead to regression of liver disease, and even interferon-based treatment without viral clearance may slow down progression of liver disease. HIV/HCV-coinfected patients who have progressed to end-stage liver disease have few therapeutic options other than palliative care, since liver transplants are generally unavailable. The mortality post-transplant may be higher than in HCV-monoinfected patients. We are entering an era where safe and effective HCV therapy is being defined for HIV/HCV-coinfected patients, and all eligible patients should be offered treatment.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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