Re-infection due to ongoing risk probably the cause of HCV recurrence after SVR

Rates of hepatitis C virus (HCV) reoccurrence after successful therapy differ markedly between risk groups, according to the results of a meta-analysis presented at the recent Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections. 
At one end of the spectrum, over a fifth of patients with HIV co-infection who cleared HCV infection with treatment experienced a recurrence of the infection. This compared to a rate just 1% in patients with no HCV risk factors. The UK investigators leading the study believe these large differences point to re-infection rather than relapse being the cause of the re-emergence of HCV after treatment response.
HCV infection is an increasingly important cause of liver-related illness and death around the world. Diagnosing and treating HCV is therefore a global health priority, especially as therapy with combinations of new direct-acting anti-HCV drugs can achieve a cure or sustained virological response (SVR) – absence of HCV RNA 24 weeks after the completion of therapy – in up to 90% of patients.    

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