Consequence of HIV and HCV co-infection on host immune response, persistence and current treatment options
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a common opportunistic pathogen especially among Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infected patients. Due to incongruous studies, the pathological effect of HCV on HIV induced disease are still not fully understood. While some studies have showed no effect of HCV on HIV infection, others reported a defined role of HCV in aggravating the rates of AIDS-related illnesses and mortality. The explanation of such variances may be due to the host immune response, viral genotypes, sub-type and quasi-species distribution. The factors that complicate the management of HIV/HCV patients are: (1) reduced HCV antibody production, (2) drug interactions, (3) liver disease and (4) different epidemiologic characteristics. However, it is abundantly clear that the morbidity and mortality caused by HCV have increased since the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) against HIV. In this review, the consequence of HIV/HCV co-infection on host immune response, viral replication, disease progression, mortality and morbidity, viral load, persistence and current treatment options have been discussed. Based on the clinical studies, it is necessary to evaluate the effect of HCV therapy on HIV progression and to provide a fully active HCV treatment for patients receiving HIV treatment. In conclusion, it is recommended to provide fully active HAART therapy in combination with a known HCV therapy.
KeywordsHepatitis C virus HIV/HCV co-infection HIV progression Direct acting antivirals Interferons
Authors would like to gratefully acknowledge the facility provided by King Fahd Medical Research Center (KFMRC), King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
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