Journal Article

Effect of Alcohol Use and Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy on Plasma Levels of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) in Patients Coinfected with HIV and HCV

Curtis L. Cooper and D. William Cameron

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 41, issue Supplement_1, pages S105-S109
Published in print July 2005 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online July 2005 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/429506
Effect of Alcohol Use and Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy on Plasma Levels of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) in Patients Coinfected with HIV and HCV

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Background. The interactions between human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), alcohol, and antiretroviral therapy are complex.

Methods. We retrospectively assessed persons coinfected with HIV and HCV who achieved HIV suppression to <500 copies/mL and continued to take antiretrovirals for ⩾6 months. Frozen plasma specimens were retrieved for quantitation of HCV RNA levels at baseline and 3, 6, and 12 months after beginning antiretroviral treatment.

Results. Median HCV RNA levels increased (0.35 log10 IU/mL) at month 3 (n = 44). HCV RNA levels decreased to below baseline by 12 months in patients consuming <50 g of alcohol/day, whereas patients consuming ⩾50 g/day had a sustained increase (>0.6 log10 IU/mL) from baseline (P = .04).

Conclusions. Because low levels of HCV RNA are predictive of a virological response to therapy for HCV infection, it may be advantageous to first achieve suppression of HIV RNA and then initiate treatment for HCV infection in patients coinfected with HIV and HCV. Excess alcohol consumption with therapy for HIV infection increases HCV RNA levels and may impede the effectiveness of this treatment strategy.

Journal Article.  2981 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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