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Lancet. 2000 Nov 25;356(9244):1800-5.

Clinical progression, survival, and immune recovery during antiretroviral therapy in patients with HIV-1 and hepatitis C virus coinfection: the Swiss HIV Cohort Study.

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Division of Infectious Diseases, University Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Erratum in

  • Lancet. 2001 May 12;357(9267):1536.



Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is highly prevalent among HIV-1-infected individuals, but its contribution to the morbidity and mortality of coinfected patients who receive potent antiretroviral therapy is controversial. We used data from the ongoing Swiss HIV Cohort Study to analyse clinical progression of HIV-1, and the virological and immunological response to potent antiretroviral therapy in HIV-1-infected patients with or without concurrent HCV infection.


We analysed prospective data on survival, clinical disease progression, suppression of HIV-1 replication, CD4-cell recovery, and frequency of changes in antiretroviral therapy according to HCV status in 3111 patients starting potent antiretroviral therapy.


1157 patients (37.2%) were coinfected with HCV, 1015 of whom (87.7%) had a history of intravenous drug use. In multivariate Cox's regression, the probability of progression to a new AIDS-defining clinical event or to death was independently associated with HCV seropositivity (hazard ratio 1.7 [95% CI 1.26-2.30]), and with active intravenous drug use (1.38 [1.02-1.88]). Virological response to antiretroviral therapy and the probability of treatment change were not associated with HCV serostatus. In contrast, HCV seropositivity was associated with a smaller CD4-cell recovery (hazard ratio for a CD4-cell count increase of at least 50 cells/microL=0.79 [0.72-0.87]).


HCV and active intravenous drug use could be important factors in the morbidity and mortality among HIV-1-infected patients, possibly through impaired CD4-cell recovery in HCV seropositive patients receiving potent antiretroviral therapy. These findings are relevant for decisions about optimum timing for HCV treatment in the setting of HIV infection.

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