The hypothesis was investigated that hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection behaves like an opportunistic infection in which progressive liver disease (PLD) is the principal manifestation. PLD in 81 hemophiliacs coinfected with HCV and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) was compared with 53 HIV-seronegative HCV-infected hemophiliacs. Progression to AIDS and death in 22 HCV/HIV-coinfected hemophiliacs with PLD was also compared with 59 coinfected hemophiliacs who did not develop PLD. The risk of PLD occurrence associated with an HIV-positive status was 7.4 (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.2-25.5; Cox model). In the coinfected group, the risk of PLD occurrence was higher in subjects with severe AIDS-defining immunodeficiency than in those without (odds ratio, 3. 6; 95% CI, 1.3-10). Persons with PLD also had a faster progression to AIDS (P=.03, log rank test) than those without PLD. Thus, as with other chronic resident human viruses, HCV should be considered another opportunistic pathogen in HIV disease.