HIV infection and the liver: the importance of HCV-HIV coinfection and drug-induced liver injury

Clin Liver Dis. 2011 Feb;15(1):131-52. doi: 10.1016/j.cld.2010.09.012.


Hepatitis C virus-Human immunodeficiency virus (HCV-HIV) coinfections are identified in up to 30% of patients infected with HIV and in 8% of patients infected with HCV. Now that progression of HIV and deaths due to AIDS can be prevented by highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), it is clear that HCV coinfection is associated with accelerated progression to cirrhosis and increased liver-related morbidity and mortality. Antiviral therapy with pegylated interferon and ribavirin for HCV in HCV-HIV coinfected patients is less successful than in patients with HCV monoinfection, and HAART can cause drug-induced liver injury. Multiple barriers limit the number of HCV-HIV coinfected patients who receive antiviral therapy for HCV, and the role of orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) in HIV monoinfected and HCV-HIV coinfected patients remains controversial. Clinical trials of HCV-specific protease or polymerase inhibitors combined with pegylated interferon and ribavirin are needed urgently in coinfected patients, both before and after OLT.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active / adverse effects
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / virology*
  • HIV / isolation & purification*
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections / immunology
  • HIV Infections / virology*
  • Hepacivirus / isolation & purification*
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / drug therapy
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / immunology
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / virology*
  • Humans