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Virologica Sinica, 22 (6) : 443-450, 2007
HIV and HCV: from Co-infection to Epidemiology, Transmission, Pathogenesis, and Treatment
1. The State Key Laboratory of Virology, College of Life Sciences, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China
2. College of Life Sciences, Kunming University of Science and Technology, Kunming 650224, China
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the infectious agent causing acquired immu- nodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), a deadliest scourge of human society. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major causative agent of chronic liver disease and infects an estimated 170 million people worldwide, resulting in a serious public health burden. Due to shared routes of transmission, co-infection with HIV and HCV has become common among individuals who had high risks of blood exposures. Among hemophiliacs the co-infection rate accounts for 85%; while among injection drug users (IDU) the rate can be as high as 90%. HIV can accelerate the progression of HCV-related liver disease, particularly when immunodeficiency has developed. Although the effect of HCV on HIV infection is controversial, most studies showed an increase in mortality due to liver disease. HCV may act as a direct cofactor to fasten the progression of AIDS and decrease the tolerance of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HARRT). Conversely, HAART-related hepatotoxicity may enhance the progression of liver fibrosis. Due to above complications, co-infection with HCV and HIV-1 has imposed a critical challenge in the management of these patients. In this review, we focus on the epidemiology and transmission of HIV and HCV, the impact of the two viruses on each other, and their treatment.
  Published online: 25 Dec 2007
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