Causes and outcomes of hepatic fibrosis in persons living with HIV : Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS

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Causes and outcomes of hepatic fibrosis in persons living with HIV

Yen, Debra W.; Sherman, Kenneth E.

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Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS 17(6):p 359-367, November 2022. | DOI: 10.1097/COH.0000000000000760


Purpose of review 

The epidemiology of liver disease in people living with HIV has evolved since the arrival of effective hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in HIV patients is highly prevalent while hepatitis D, hepatitis E, and occult hepatitis B remain underappreciated. We discuss mechanisms of fibrosis in HIV and review clinical outcomes of HIV-associated liver diseases.

Recent findings 

HIV-HCV co-infection is receding as a cause of progressive liver disease, but fibrosis biomarkers after HCV treatment remain elevated. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) with anti-hepatitis B virus (HBV) activity promotes stable liver disease, but oversimplifying ART regimens in unrecognized suppressed HBV may lead to activation of HBV. A high prevalence of fibrosis and rapid progression of fibrosis are seen in HIV-associated NAFLD, with visceral fat as a major risk factor. Newer ART such as integrase strand inhibitors may have limited intrinsic hepatoxicity but do increase weight, which may secondarily lead to hepatic steatosis. Promising therapies for HIV-associated NAFLD include tesamorelin and CCR5 blockade agents.


Our understanding of the natural history and pathogenesis of liver diseases in HIV has advanced and adapted to the changing landscape of liver disease in this population. Future research should evaluate long-term clinical and histological outcomes, prevention strategies, and treatment options to improve morbidity and mortality in HIV-related liver diseases.

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