Purpose of review: Up to one-third of HIV-infected patients is infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV). It is now widely accepted that HIV accelerates the course of HCV-related chronic liver disease. The improved survival of HIV patients after successful antiretroviral therapy (ART) has led to a significant decline in HIV-related morbidity, and liver disease caused by HCV infection has emerged as a major threat to the survival of HIV patients. HIV/HCV coinfected patients have a more rapid progression to cirrhosis and its complications than HCV monoinfected patients. Even though the effect of HCV on HIV infection and disease progression is less clear, most advocate early anti-HCV treatment to reduce the risk of chronic liver disease.
Recent findings: Recent studies support current recommendations to begin ART early in the course of HIV infection in order to limit progression of liver disease in coinfected patients. HIV coinfection has a negative impact on HCV pathogenesis, and despite increased risk of drug-related hepatotoxicity, successful response to ART might lessen progression of chronic liver disease and improve response to anti-HCV therapy.
Summary: HIV infection affects rate of liver disease progression in those with HCV coinfection. Treatment of HIV may result in slower rates of progression and liver mortality.