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HCV Does Not Speed HIV Progression

HCV Does Not Speed HIV Progression

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Coinfection with HIV and hepatitis C does not speed HIV disease progression, according to a study in the May edition of HIV Medicine. The study of data from research in the early 1990s shows that HIV-HCV coinfection did not lead to faster or greater reductions in CD4-cell counts or hasten an AIDS diagnosis in the 265 coinfected patients studied. The analysis did show highly disparate HIV-HCV coinfection rates by country and by demographic groups. Overall, 16.1% of the nearly 1,650 HIV patients screened for hepatitis C were coinfected. But that percentage ran from a low of 1.6% in South Africa to a high of 48.6% in Italy. More than 92% of HIV-positive injection drug users studied also were infected with hepatitis C, as were 52.9% of those who acquired HIV through blood products. Only 3.4% of HIV-positive gay men studied were coinfected, leading researchers to say sexual transmission of HCV appears to be rare.

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