It has been suggested that, in HIV-HCV co-infected patients, co-infections with other viruses may affect the response to HCV therapy. We aimed to assess the prevalence of GBV-C, SEN-V and occult HBV infections, their impact on HCV and HIV infections and on the response to HCV therapy in HIV-HCV co-infected patients.
Three-hundred and sixty eight patients were tested before starting interferon-ribavirin for the presence of occult hepatitis B DNA, GBV-C RNA and SEN-V DNA by using real time PCR. Clinical, immunological, virological, histological characteristics and response to HCV therapy were compared according to the presence or not of each viral co-infection.
HBV DNA, GBV-C RNA and SEN-V DNA were found in 5 (1.4%, CI95%: 0.2-2.4%), 104 (29.9%, CI95%: 25.1-34.7%) and 209 patients (57.9%, CI95%: 52.8-63.0%), respectively. GBV-C positive patients had significantly higher CD4 count at baseline, during and after HCV therapy, even after stratification on antiretroviral treatment. No other significant difference was observed according to the presence or not of GBV-C or SEN-V co-infection, in particular regarding virological responses to HCV combination therapy.
There is no reason to withhold HCV therapy in HIV infected patients who have access to HAART, because of occult HBV, GBV-C or SEN-V co-infections.
"Previous studies on the association between HCV infection and OBI persistence in HIV-infected cases have given conflicting results . The percentage of OBI in HIV-HCV-positive patients varies considerably in different studies from less than 1% , to 1.4%-5% , 10% , 33%-35%  and more than 40% . In another study 21% of HIV-HCV co-infected patients had detectable HBV-DNA in their plasma and OBI was significantly higher in HCV co-infected subjects than HCV-negative cases . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)- infected patients are at risk of acquiring viral hepatitis, due to common routes of transmission. As the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) reduced the frequency of opportunistic infections and improved survival, viral hepatitis emerged as an important cause of morbidity and mortality in HIV-infected cases. Occult hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is characterized by presence of HBV infection without detectable hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg). There are conflicting reports on the impact of occult HBV infection on the natural history of HIV disease. In this review, we described the findings of studies on HIV and hepatitis B co-infection with focus on the prevalence of occult HBV infection. The results of this review demonstrated the importance of prevention, diagnosis and treatment of occult HBV infection in HIV-positive patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Since the pivotal trials conducted over the last few years which have used the combination of pegylated interferon along with fixed low doses (800mg/day) of ribavirin and have provided treatment for 12 months, regardless the kinetics of hepatitis C virus (HCV) viral load during therapy, great progress has been made in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C in HIV-infected patients. Results approaching those seen in HCV-monoinfected patients can be obtained with optimal dosages of ribavirin, extension of treatment beyond 48 weeks in the absence of rapid virologic response and/or in patients older than 40 years, with severe fibrosis (METAVIR score F3 or F4) and/or with high HCV viral load and with a better management of HIV treatment in order to avoid a negative interaction between HCV and HIV therapies (interaction between abacavir and ribavirin) and to improve the tolerance of HCV therapy (Didanosine should never be used with ribavirin, Zidovudine and Stavudine should be avoided when possible with ribavirin).
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