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Management and treatment of hepatitis C virus infection in HIV-infected adults: recommendations from the Veterans Affairs Hepatitis C Resource Center Program and National Hepatitis C Program Office.

VAMC Infectious Disease Section, San Francisco, CA 94121, USA.
The American Journal of Gastroenterology (Impact Factor: 9.21). 11/2005; 100(10):2338-54. DOI: 10.1111/j.1572-0241.2005.00222.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Nearly 40% of human immunodeficiency virus- (HIV-) infected veterans on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in the United States are coinfected with hepatitis C virus (HCV). With the increased survival due to declining opportunistic infections as a result of HAART, HCV-associated liver disease has become a leading cause of death in HIV-infected individuals. HCV infection has been shown to lead to rapid progression of HCV-related liver disease in HIV infection. Results from recent clinical trials in HIV/HCV-coinfected patients show improved response rates using pegylated formulations of interferon plus ribavirin when compared to standard interferon plus ribavirin. However, the treatment of HCV in HIV/HCV-coinfected patients can be complicated by the hepatotoxic and myelosuppressive effects of HIV therapy and HIV infection itself. Prior to initiating HCV therapy, HIV therapy should be optimized by improving immune suppression and avoiding specific antiretroviral drugs that may cause hepatotoxicity and myelosuppression. In the event of treatment-related neutropenia or anemia during HCV therapy, the use of growth factors should be considered to maximize sustained virologic response to HCV therapy. In HIV/HCV-coinfected patients with end-stage liver disease, liver transplantation is being investigated and shows promise as a potential therapeutic option. With the recent advances in the treatment of HCV in HIV/HCV-coinfected individuals, all HIV/HCV-coinfected patients eligible for HCV treatment should be evaluated for HCV combination therapy with careful consideration of their HIV disease.

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