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J Hepatol. 1998 Jun;28(6):945-50.

Retrospective analysis of the impact of HIV infection and alcohol use on chronic hepatitis C in a large cohort of drug users.

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Unité d'Hépatologie, Hôpital Necker, Paris, France.



This retrospective study aimed to better define the respective biological and pathological impact of human immunodeficiency virus infection and chronic alcohol consumption on the course of hepatitis C virus infection in intravenous drug users.


Two hundred and ten consecutive anti-HCV positive intravenous drug users, among whom 60 were also anti-HIV positive, took part in the study at the University Hospital, Paris, France.


The activity of aspartate aminotransferase and gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase was significantly increased in serum from anti-HIV positive patients. The mean hepatitis activity index was significantly higher in anti-HIV positive patients (p<0.05), among whom there was also a higher proportion of patients with cirrhosis as compared to anti-HIV negative patients (30.0 vs 15.3%, p<0.0001). Excessive alcohol drinking (recorded in around 35% of the patients, whatever their HIV status), as compared to non-excessive drinking, was more often associated with cirrhosis in anti-HIV negative (24.5 vs 11.3%, p<0.05) than in anti-HIV positive patients (30.4 vs 29.7%, not significant). In a multivariate analysis, HIV infection (relative risk 2.2, confidence interval 1.1-4.5) and excessive alcohol drinking (relative risk 1.9, confidence interval 1.0-3.9) were the variables independently associated with the risk of cirrhosis.


Human immunodeficiency virus infection worsens the course of chronic hepatitis C in intravenous drug users. Excessive alcohol drinking also appears to be a crucial negative cofactor, and therefore alcohol withdrawal should be proposed as an integral part of the therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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