End-stage liver disease is a concern for people with HIV and hepatitis B or C co-infection

People with HIV and hepatitis B or C virus co-infection are more likely to progress to end-stage liver disease (ESLD), or liver failure, than those with HIV alone, and individuals triply infected with all three viruses face the greatest risk, according to study findings presented at the recent Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2015) in Seattle, USA.

Due to overlapping transmission routes, many people with HIV also have hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) or both. Over years or decades, chronic hepatitis B or C can cause serious liver disease including cirrhosis, liver cancer, and potentially liver failure and the need for a liver transplant. In addition to viral hepatitis, other factors such as drug toxicity and heavy alcohol consumption can also contribute to serious liver damage.

Prior research has shown that HBV- and HCV-related liver disease progression is more rapid and possibly more severe in people with HIV. Since the advent of effective antiretroviral treatment (ART), as fewer people with HIV succumbed to opportunistic infections and other AIDS complications, liver disease has become a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in this population.


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