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Biopsy Result Hasn't Changed After 5 Years
Jan 22, 2012

Hi Dr. McGovern,

I had a liver biopsy five years ago and it showed no inflammation. I had another in August this year and it still showed no inflammation, yet I still drink occasionally. My question is, how can HIV meds have an effect on progression or non-progression of HCV? I've read where they can often exacerbate liver damage, but is it possible that the meds could also slow liver disease progression? I've heard that before but not quite sure I understand. Thanks for all you do!

Response from Dr. McGovern

Good question.

With the earlier HIV medications, we did worry a lot about possible liver consequences. This was mainly related to drugs like DDI and d4T which could cause mitochondrial toxicity, a harmful effect on liver cells.

Now the HIV meds are really much safer liver wise and there is recent data showing that suppressing HIV virus is important for liver health.

So now the overall message is that treatment for HIV may slow down HCV progression.

I am very happy to hear about your liver biopsy results. Also stay tuned for more developments on hepatitis C treatment in the HIV infected patient. A lot of new drugs are on the way and results of two major studies will be out later this year.



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