Since successful antiretroviral therapies have made HIV a treatable condition, more HIV patients who are also infected with hepatitis B or C are experiencing the progression of their liver disease. In the face of this novel challenge, experts in the field convened to share information and opinions on the management of such patients. The conference discussions are summarized in June issue of Hepatology, a journal published by John Wiley & Sons on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) The article is also available online at Wiley Interscience (http://www.interscience.wiley.com/journal/hepatology).
Because of shared modes of transmission, HIV and viral hepatitis infections often coexist. Since therapies have made HIV a manageable condition, hepatologists are seeing more infected patients with complex liver issues. To address questions about care for these co-infected patients, an international forum was convened in Jackson Hole, Wyoming in September 2006. The meeting brought together laboratory and clinical researchers, drug developers and government representatives to discuss the state of the field, research needs, and collaborative possibilities. The conference topics are summarized by Kenneth Sherman, MD, PhD, of the University of Cincinnati and colleagues in the current issue of Hepatology.
An estimated 3 to 4 million people are infected with both HIV and hepatitis B (HBV) while 4 to 5 million people have HIV and chronic hepatitis C (HCV). The natural history of coinfection, particularly for HCV/HIV in the era of highly active antiretroviral therapies is still a matter of debate, and is important as it influences intervention strategies, the authors report. However, recent studies have shown increasing rates of liver disease and related death among those with HIV.