Background. There are few data concerning the risk of specific opportunistic diseases in patients with and without hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. We evaluated the correlation between the occurrence of different AIDS-defining illnesses (ADIs) and chronic HCV infection or HCV-related liver cirrhosis in a large Italian cohort of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected subjects.
Methods. Subjects were stratified into 2 groups: patients without HCV coinfection and with persistently normal aminotransferase levels and patients with HCV coinfection. The patients with HCV coinfection were stratified according to the diagnosis of liver cirrhosis. The incidences of new ADIs were calculated as the number of events per 1000 person-years of follow-up. The rates in the 2 groups were compared using a Poisson regression model adjusted for potential confounders.
Results. We observed a total of 496 ADIs among 5397 patients with 25,105 person-years of follow-up (50% tested positive for HCV). HCV coinfection was associated with increased risk of developing an ADI (adjusted relative rate [ARR], 2.61; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.88–3.61), specifically bacterial infection (ARR, 3.15; 95% CI, 1.76–5.67), HIV-related disease (ARR, 2.68; 95% CI, 1.03–6.97), and mycotic disease (ARR, 3.87; 95% CI, 2.28–6.59) but not non-Hodgkin lymphoma (ARR, 0.88; 95% CI, 0.22–3.48). The rate of mycotic infection, bacterial infection, toxoplasmosis, and HIV-related ADI among patients with cirrhosis were significantly higher than that among HIV-monoinfected patients, and the risk was greater than that estimated for HCV antibody-positive patients without cirrhosis.
Conclusions. HIV-related bacterial and mycotic infections are strongly associated with positive HCV serostatus and HCV-related cirrhosis. Clinicians should take into account these data when making decisions on initiation of antiretroviral therapy for HCV-coinfected individuals.
Journal Article. 5289 words. Illustrated.
Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology
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