July 18, 2012
New Orleans and Baton Rouge are among the 10 US cities that have the highest HIV rates, according to recent surveillance reports. In 2006, 7 percent of Louisiana residents with hepatitis C virus were co-infected with HIV. However, actual co-infection rates are probably higher since HCV is usually underreported, said Dielda Robertson, epidemiologist and adult viral hepatitis prevention coordinator at the state Office of Public Health.
About 25 percent of people with HIV in the United States also have HCV, according to CDC.
The combination is more difficult to treat than other co-infections, said Dr. Nathan Shores, assistant professor of clinical medicine and associate medical director of liver transplants at Tulane Medical Center. Medications for HCV are more toxic than for other types of hepatitis, and HCV-related liver transplants are generally not as successful as hepatitis B-related transplants.
The co-infection also is difficult to treat due to a shortage of hepatologists, Shores said. There are just five certified hepatologists in Louisiana and about 200 in the nation. Many HIV clinics do not test for HCV, and screening is often based on risk.
People taking HIV therapy who are at risk for HCV should get tested as early as possible, Shores said. Early testing and treatment can help people avoid medication toxicity problems associated with treating late-stage disease, he said.
Times-Picayune (New Orleans)
07.14.2012; Maki Somosot
No comments have been made.
The content on this page is free of advertiser influence and was produced by our editorial team. See our content and advertising policies.
|No Increased Risk of Liver Cancer After Hepatitis C Treatment With Direct-Acting Antivirals|
|This Week in HIV Research: Another Person Possibly Cured of HIV; and Long-Acting Rilpivirine Suppresses HIV in Rectal Tissue|
|This Week in HIV Research: HIV-Related Inflammation May Be Irreversible; and Genetically Engineered T-Cells Resist HIV|
|How Close Are We to a Cure for HIV? A Q&A With HIV Cure Scientific Superstars|
|Dolutegravir and the Central Nervous System: A Top HIV Clinical Development of 2016|