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AIDS. 2004 Nov 19;18(17):2313-8.

The effect of hepatitis C on progression to AIDS before and after highly active antiretroviral therapy.

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  • 1Centro Operativo AIDS, Dipartimento di Malattie Infettive, Parassitarie e Immunomediate, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy.



To assess the effect of infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) on the progression of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease, before and after the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART).


We used data from a multi-centre prospective study of HIV seroconverters. Survival analyses were performed to compare the progression to AIDS by HCV serostatus in the period before HAART (i.e. June 1991-May 1996) and in the HAART era (i.e. June 1996-June 2001), controlling for duration of HIV infection.


Among the 1052 persons enrolled, 595 (56.6%) were co-infected; the median follow-up time was 9.7 years. Adjusting for demographic variables (age at HIV seroconversion and gender), HCV infection had no effect on the progression to AIDS in the pre-HAART era [relative hazard (RH) = 0.84; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.63-1.11], whereas it increased the risk in the HAART era (RH = 1.77; 95% CI, 1.15-2.73). In the HAART era, the proportion of person-time spent on HAART out of the total time at risk was significantly lower among co-infected persons (30 versus 40% for non-co-infected persons; P-value = 0.001); no significant difference was found for dual-therapy (29 versus 25%, respectively; P-value = 0.205); a significant difference was found for mono-therapy (15 versus 8%, respectively; P-value < 0.001).


HCV infection was not a determinant of HIV disease progression in the pre-HAART era, whereas since the introduction of HAART, co-infected individuals seem to have had a faster disease progression. This may in part be explained by differences in person-time spent on different antiretroviral regimens.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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