Management of HIV and hepatitis virus coinfection

Sao Paulo University Medical School, Infectious Diseases Department, Brazil.
Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy (Impact Factor: 3.53). 10/2010; 11(15):2497-516. DOI: 10.1517/14656566.2010.500615
Source: PubMed


Liver disease related to infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) and/or hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a frequent cause of morbidity and mortality in those infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in this era of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Although progress has been made in the treatment of HBV and HCV in the setting of HIV-coinfection, there is a lack of data in certain areas and several aspects of the management are unclear at this time.
Available data on the treatment of HBV and HCV infections, especially in the HIV-coinfected patient, are presented. Practical aspects of the management of these patients are reviewed, including diagnosis, treatment indications, monitoring, and toxicities. The impact of HAART on liver disease, end-stage-liver disease, and new therapeutic approaches are also reviewed.
There are two modalities for the treatment of chronic HBV infection: interferon and nucleos(t)ide reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTI). The latter is the mainstream of therapy for HIV-HBV-coinfected patients. The double antiviral activity of NRTI requires coordination and careful selection of treatment for both viruses to avoid selection of resistance mutations and toxicity. Combination of pegylated interferon and ribavirin, the current standard treatment for chronic hepatitis C, has significant toxicity and limited efficacy in HIV-HCV-coinfected individuals. Oral anti-HCV treatments are currently under development and need to be studied in the HIV-coinfected population. Liver transplantation has a better outcome in HBV- than in HCV-HIV-coinfected patients. HAART seems to have a positive impact on the liver disease of HBV- and/or HCV-coinfected subjects but the CD4 threshold above which the benefit might take place is unknown at this time.
Anti-HBV treatment in the HIV-coinfected patient relies on the available NRTIs with activity against both viruses. Whereas HBV suppression can be achieved with this approach, toxicities and the selection of HBV-resistant variants result in challenging clinical scenarios. Current anti-HCV treatment (pegylated interferon and ribavirin) has limited efficacy in the HIV-coinfected patient, and STAT-C drugs are eagerly awaited.

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