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World J Gastroenterol. 2008 Mar 21;14(11):1657-63.

Hepatocellular carcinoma, human immunodeficiency virus and viral hepatitis in the HAART era.

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  • 1Chelsea and Westminster hospital, London, United Kingdom.


The incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is rising. HCC in HIV almost invariably occurs in the context of hepatitis C virus (HCV) or hepatitis B virus (HBV) co-infection and, on account of shared modes of transmission, this occurs in more than 33% and 10% of patients with HIV worldwide respectively. It has yet to be clearly established whether HIV directly accelerates HCC pathogenesis or whether the rising incidence is an epiphenomenon of the highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) era, wherein the increased longevity of patients with HIV allows long-term complications of viral hepatitis and cirrhosis to develop. Answering this question will have implications for HCC surveillance and the timing of HCV/HBV therapy, which in HIV co-infection presents unique challenges. Once HCC develops, there is growing evidence that HIV co-infection should not preclude conventional therapeutic strategies, including liver transplantation.

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