HIV, Hepatitis C Coinfection Negatively Affects Antiretroviral Therapy, Increases Risk of Death, Study States
Individuals infected with both HIV and hepatitis C have a higher risk of death and may not respond as well to AIDS treatments as individuals with HIV alone, according to a study published in The Lancet. Hepatitis C, a life-threatening liver disease that affects about 170 million people worldwide, "is common among" individuals with HIV and intravenous drug users, Reuters English News Service reports (Reuters English News Service, 11/23). Scientists at University Hospital in Lausanne, Switzerland, studied 1,157 patients with both hepatitis C and HIV, 1,015 of whom "had a history of intravenous drug use," to determine their "clinical progression" and virological and immunological response to antiretroviral therapy. Overall, 179 patients had "a new AIDS event," while 181 patients died. Comparing coinfected patients to patients with only HIV, the "hazard ratio" for an "AIDS-defining event" or death was 1:70. Eight of the 181 deaths were "definitely" and 13 were "possibly" caused by end-stage liver disease. From their findings, the researchers conclude that hepatitis C and intravenous drug use "could be important factors in the morbidity and mortality among" HIV-infected individuals. Researchers indicate that such findings are "relevant for decisions about optimum timing for" hepatitis C treatment in patients with HIV. Furthermore, hThis is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.