The clinical management of HCV in the HIV-infected patient.
Chronic hepatitis C affects an estimated 170 million persons worldwide and due to shared transmission routes many persons are coinfected with HIV. Since the advent of HAART, HIV patients have longer life expectancy and suffer fewer AIDS-related complications. The result has been an increase in morbidity and mortality from HIV-associated non-AIDS conditions, with high rates of liver-related deaths resulting from HCV in the coinfected population. Coinfection with HIV is an independent predictor of liver disease progression, and proper staging of fibrosis is of critical importance in the coinfected patient. In contrast to HIV, it is possible to eradicate HCV infection; and undetectable viral load 12 weeks after cessation of therapy, or sustained viral response (SVR), is considered a clinical cure. As achievement of SVR has been associated with significantly reduced mortality from liver disease and liver disease complications, it is imperative that patients coinfected with HIV-HCV receive therapy for their HCV infection. The length of therapy with previously available interferon-based regimens added a significant burden to HIV-HCV-coinfected patients. Newer, all-oral, interferon-free regimens promise to simplify treatment regimens, reduce side-effect profiles, and demonstrate reduced drug interactions with numerous HAART regimens.
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