, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 91-102

Management of hepatitis C in HIV-infected patients

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Abstract

As the survival of HIV-infected patients has been lengthening over the past 10 years as a consequence of effective antiretroviral therapy, hepatitis C virus (HCV) coinfection has emerged as a major cause of morbidity and mortality in this population. HCV/HIV coinfection is associated with accelerated progression of liver disease, untoward effects on the immunologic and virologic response to antiretroviral medications, and possibly with a more aggressive course of HIV disease. The results of major trials of combination therapy for HCV in coinfected patients have clearly established the combination of pegylated interferon-α with ribavirin as the treatment of choice in this population. However, the effectiveness and tolerability of this regimen remains suboptimal, particularly in patients with genotype 1 HCV infection. This paper reviews the impact of HCV coinfection in HIV-infected patients, outlines current concepts on management and antiviral treatment, and discusses some of the newer agents, currently in the therapeutic pipeline, that are directed against novel molecular targets.