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It is estimated that up to 30% of Americans with HIV are also infected with hepatitis C (HCV)—this translates to approximately 300,000 people in the United States. The need and urgency for treating HIV/HCV coinfected people is somewhat greater than for those who are mono-infected with hepatitis C because HCV disease progression rate in the HIV/HCV coinfected person is much faster. In addition, successful treatment of hepatitis C improves liver health and functioning which should reduce the risk of potential HIV medication-related liver toxicities.
Overview of 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 are becoming an increasingly important medical issue. As improvements in HIV treatment have reduced the number of deaths due to opportunistic illnesses, liver disease has become a leading cause of hospitalization and death in people with HIV/AIDS. It is estimated that approximately 1.2 million people in the U.S. are infected with HIV and approximately 3.2 million are infected with hepatitis C. As many as 30% of people with HIV may also be coinfected with hepatitis C.
- What does coinfection mean?
- Is it worse to have HIV and Hep C together?
- What are the symptoms of Hep C?
- How does Hep C affect my body?
- What does the liver do?
- Can I do anything to help my liver?
- Should I be concerned if I have both HIV and Hep C?y is the liver important for someone with HIV?
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