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Hepatitis C Speeds HIV's Progression

Hepatitis C Speeds HIV's Progression


Italian researchers report in the journal AIDS that coinfection with HIV and hepatitis C can result in faster HIV disease progression, particularly among patients taking antiretroviral medications. Data were collected from 1,052 newly HIV-infected patients (57% of whom were coinfected with HCV) from both before and after the introduction of combination therapy. Before combination therapy, HIV patients coinfected with HCV were shown to have about the same rate of disease progression to an AIDS diagnosis as those not also infected with hepatitis. After combination therapy was introduced, however, HIV-HCV coinfection was associated with more rapid disease progression and a significantly higher risk of developing AIDS. Researchers also examined the length of time study subjects were on therapy and concluded that the differences in HIV disease progression 'may in part be explained by differences in person-time spent on different antiretroviral regimens' rather than by varying biological factors.

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