A Guide to HIV/HCV Coinfection
When a person is infected with two or more different disease-causing organisms it is called coinfection. Infection with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) is the most common coinfection in people with HIV, and hepatitis C is categorized as an HIV-related opportunistic illness. Complications related to HIV/HCV coinfection have become an increasingly important medical issue and consequences from HCV infection are now the leading cause of death in people with HIV. It is estimated that approximately 1.2 million people in the U.S. are infected with HIV and more than 2.7 to 3.9 million are infected with hepatitis C. It is estimated that as many as 30% of people with HIV may also be coinfected with hepatitis C.
Recent studies show that combination drug regimens can successfully treat hepatitis C in most people with HIV, and that most people with hepatitis C can be successfully treated for HIV. The continual emergence of new data and treatment guidelines will help us to better understand and more effectively treat both diseases. Newer and more effective medications have been approved to treat hepatitis C in people with HIV. There are currently many drugs under study to treat HCV. Approval of some of these medications is expected in 2016. These drugs will expand the treatment options for people with HCV including those who are also infected with HIV.
This guide will primarily focus on HCV and HIV/HCV coinfection.