[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
March 24/31, 2015

Hepatitis C and HIV Co-infectionClosing the Gaps

Author Affiliations
  • 1Viral Hepatitis Center, Division of Infectious Disease, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA. 2015;313(12):1217-1218. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.1111

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection causes substantial morbidity and mortality, but patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) co-infection are 3 times more likely to develop cirrhosis or liver decompensation than those infected with hepatitis C alone.1 Unlike the treatment of HIV, for which the goal is viral suppression, treatment of hepatitis C is finite in duration, and the goal is to achieve a sustained virologic response (SVR), which is a lack of detectable HCV RNA at least 12 weeks after completion of treatment. Clinically, SVR is considered to represent eradication of hepatitis C infection, although reinfection is possible. Achieving SVR is associated with a significant decrease in subsequent decompensation of liver function, liver cancer, and all-cause mortality in persons with HIV co-infection.2 However, treatment of hepatitis C in patients with HIV co-infection has been limited by the reluctance of many HIV clinicians to use interferon alfa and the hesitation of many hepatologists to treat persons with HIV.

First Page Preview View Large
First page PDF preview
First page PDF preview