Viral Hepatitis and HIV
Current anti-HIV drug therapy has made a tremendous difference in the lives of many people with HIV. The number of new opportunistic infections is still at an all-time low in the United States and many people are living longer with HIV -- thanks to the availability and widespread use of these treatments.
Unfortunately, living longer with HIV has created a new set of problems for many people. Thousands of people with HIV are also infected -- or at risk of being infected -- with one of several hepatitis viruses. Some of these viruses can cause chronic infection, meaning that the infection doesn't go away and can lead to serious liver damage over time. And because many people with HIV are now at a much lower risk of becoming seriously ill or dying from an AIDS-related opportunistic infection, they now face the challenge of managing these other viral diseases that pose a threat to their health and lives.
This brochure is designed to help people with HIV better understand three hepatitis viruses that are a potential threat to their health: hepatitis A virus (HAV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), and hepatitis C virus (HCV). These are different and distinct viruses with one important thing in common -- they each have the potential to damage the liver. This brochure includes a general review of hepatitis and the ways these three hepatitis viruses are transmitted, cause disease, and are treated, particularly in people with HIV. With this information, we hope that readers will talk with their healthcare providers about viral hepatitis, including the ways it can be prevented and managed.
This article was provided by AIDS Community Research Initiative of America. Visit ACRIA's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.