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Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2014 Jun;11(6):362-71. doi: 10.1038/nrgastro.2014.17. Epub 2014 Feb 18.

HCV and HIV co-infection: mechanisms and management.

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Liver Center and Division of Gastroenterology, Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit Street, Boston, MA 02114, USA.
Division of Infectious Diseases, Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit Street, Boston, MA 02114, USA.


HCV and HIV co-infection is associated with accelerated hepatic fibrosis progression and higher rates of liver decompensation and death compared to HCV monoinfection, and liver disease is a leading cause of non-AIDS-related mortality among HIV-infected patients. New insights have revealed multiple mechanisms by which HCV and HIV lead to accelerated disease progression, specifically that HIV infection increases HCV replication, augments HCV-induced hepatic inflammation, increases hepatocyte apoptosis, increases microbial translocation from the gut and leads to an impairment of HCV-specific immune responses. Treatment of HIV with antiretroviral therapy and treatment of HCV have independently been shown to delay the progression of fibrosis and reduce complications from end-stage liver disease among co-infected patients. However, rates of sustained virologic response with PEG-IFN and ribavirin have been significantly inferior among co-infected patients compared with HCV-monoinfected patients, and treatment uptake has remained low given the limited efficacy and tolerability of current HCV regimens. With multiple direct-acting antiviral agents in development to treat HCV, a unique opportunity exists to redefine the treatment paradigm for co-infected patients, which incorporates data on fibrosis stage as well as potential drug interactions with antiretroviral therapy.

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