The impact of human immunodeficiency virus on viral hepatitis


Vincent Mallet, Hôpital Cochin Saint Vincent de Paul, Unité d'hépatologie, Inserm U.1016, Université Paris Descartes, 27 rue du Faubourg Saint Jacques, 75014 Paris, France
Tel: +33 (0)1 58 41 30 12
Fax: +33 (0)1 58 41 30 14


The combination of antiretroviral (ARV) therapies introduced at the end of the 1990s profoundly changed the natural history of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Liver diseases are one of the three primary causes of ‘non-AIDS-related’ death in people living with HIV for three reasons: the high prevalence of hepatotropic viral co-infections, the hepatotoxicity of ARV drugs and new emerging liver diseases, including nodular regenerative hyperplasia and hepatitis E virus infection. The impact of HIV infection on the natural history of hepatitis C virus (HCV) or hepatitis B virus (HBV)/HIV co-infection has markedly changed in the past few decades with the progress made in ARV treatment and the improved definition of therapeutic strategies for HCV or HBV. Initially, HIV had a negative impact on hepatotropic infections. Today, HIV does not appear to significantly modify the natural history of HCV and HBV infection. This is associated with fair immune restoration, viral suppression associated with analogues having dual activity against HBV and HIV and with the increasing efficacy of antiviral treatments against HCV. A significant decline is expected in the morbidity and mortality associated with chronic liver infection in co-infected patients. Nevertheless, today, there are three major issues: (i) improving preventive measures including vaccination and risk reduction; (ii) screening patients infected with HBV or HCV and evaluating the impact of chronic infection on the liver and finally; (iii) early screening of hepatocellular carcinoma whose occurrence is higher and that evolves more rapidly in co-infected than in mono-infected patients.