Canada: Leading Canadian researcher calls for inclusion of co-infected people in large HCV clinical trials

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infects the liver. Chronic infection with HCV causes inflammation in this vital organ and slowly degrades it as healthy tissue is replaced with scar tissue. This ongoing injury to the liver results in complications, including bacterial infections, internal bleeding and liver, kidney and brain dysfunction. If left untreated, HCV infection can cause severe liver injury, the liver can stop working and death can occur. HCV infection also increases the risk for developing liver cancer.

Impact of HIV co-infection
Co-infection with HCV and HIV is relatively common, as both viruses have shared routes of infection. HIV-HCV co-infection accelerates the pace of HCV-related liver injury.

Historically, co-infected people have had increased rates of illness and death compared to people with HCV infection alone (mono-infection). There are at least two reasons for this, as follows:

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