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Hepatitis and HIV CoinfectionHepatitis and HIV Coinfection
           
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hOW MANY YEARS BEFORE DIEING?
Feb 28, 2002

HOW LONG CAN A PERSON LIVE WITH HEPATITIS C?

Response from Dr. Rodriguez-Torres

The answer is:most likely all their natural life expectancy.Chronic Hepatitis C is a disease that will only cause advanced liver damage (cirrhosis),in about 15-20% of all cases.The great majority of cases will have mild to moderate disease ,and never have the end stage liver disease complications.This does not means that we do not see a lot of advanced disease,as unfortunately many patients pursue behavior risk factors. In patients that have coinfection with the HIV,the risk of cirrhosis is higher,around 50% of all cases.Coincidental alcohol and drug use may play a role,as well as the hepatoxicity associated to the HIV therapy. We advise all cases to undergo a liver evaluation ,includinfg a liver biopsy,to assess the severity of the disease and the need for treatment.If the virus is erradicated,the liver heals and patients will have no further complications.



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