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J Antimicrob Chemother. 2006 May;57(5):815-8. Epub 2006 Mar 23.

Management of chronic hepatitis B and C in HIV-coinfected patients.

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Department of Infectious Diseases, Hospital Carlos III, Calle Sinesio Delgado 10, 28029 Madrid, Spain.


One-third of HIV-infected individuals worldwide suffer from chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, but chronic hepatitis C affects more than 75% of HIV-positive subjects infected parenterally, such as haemophiliacs and intravenous drug users. Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, on the other hand, occurs in 10% of HIV-infected persons, coinfection being more prevalent in Southeast Asia. There are two main reasons for considering HCV and HBV therapy as a priority in HIV-coinfected patients: first, the more rapid liver disease progression seen in this population, leading to end-stage liver disease complications, including hepatocellular carcinoma, at younger ages; and second, the higher risk of developing hepatotoxicity following the initiation of antiretroviral therapy in subjects with underlying chronic hepatitis than in HIV-monoinfected individuals. As highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has dramatically improved the prognosis of those with HIV disease, the consequences of associated illnesses such as hepatitis B and C, which are currently among the leading causes of hospital admission and death in the HIV-infected population, have become more relevant. Therefore, the adequate management of viral hepatitis should now be considered a priority in HIV-coinfected patients. Several guidelines have recently been released in response to this demand. In this article, we discuss the most critical issues highlighted in these documents.

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