An analysis of nearly 17,000 hepatitis C patients has unveiled a disturbing find for people coinfected with HIV. HIV-HCVers were about three times more likely to progress to advanced liver disease or to die of liver-related complications than those only infected with HCV.
But HIV's ability to speed hepatitis-related illnesses was linked to a lack of antiretroviral treatment, the researchers say.
'Without highly active antiretroviral therapy, HIV accelerates HIV disease progression, including death, histological fibrosis/cirrhosis, and decompensated liver disease,' the researchers concluded in the World Journal of Gastroenterology.
Rates of liver cancer, however, were not increased by HIV coinfection or a lack of anti-HIV treatment, according to the study data.