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HIV Coinfection with Hepatitis C Virus

Chronic Hepatitis C infection is now the leading cause of death after AIDS-related complications in HIV infected individuals in the United States. HIV coinfection exacerbates Hepatitis C virus disease leading to more rapid progression to cirrhosis, liver cancer and mortality. This is felt to be due to impaired T-cell immune responses to Hepatitis C in HIV positive patients.

Until now, the standard of care led to cure rates in only 20 percent of coinfected patients. However, the approval last year of two new agents called protease inhibitors are showing a great deal of promise in studies currently under way with cure rates possibly reaching 80-90 percent in some studies.

It is now standard of care for all HIV patients to be screened for Hepatitits C coinfection with the hope that therapy will cause a marked improvement in morbidity and mortality.

Going forward, due to the shortage of physicians currently trained to treat hepatitis C, HIV providers will have to be the treaters for their coinfected patients and treat not just their HIV but also their Hepatitis C infection.

Cardiovascular Disease in HIV Patients

Americans with HIV infection are living longer. Unfortunately they remain at increased rates of several complications. These include Viral hepatitis, Diabetes,renal disease,cancers of the lung,cervix and anogenital area..The most common complication appears to be increases rates of cardiovascular disease , Several studies and a recent article in the science section of the New York Times have reviewed the increased rates of cardiovascular disease in HIV patients. While the major risk factors are hypertension ,hyperlipidemia ,Diabetes and cigarette smoking,HIV infection itself appears to play a role. This is thought to be due to increase levels of inflammation in HIV patients . Your HIV provider must continue to screen for risk factors and test for the presence of vascular disease on a regular basis

Promising Results from UCLA AIDS Institute Trial of Anti-HIV Gel

Medical News Today reported this week that a recent study conducted by the UCLA AIDS Institute indicated an anti-HIV topical gel could be effective in substantially reducing the risk of infection in tissue exposed to HIV.

While this early clinical trial’s primary purpose was to test the safety of the drug—a topically applied gel containing a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor—the study’s lead author, Dr. Peter Anton, indicated that he was pleased that the study had indirectly pointed to the drug’s potential effectiveness in reducing the risk of HIV infection in real patients.


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