Treatment News : HCV Co-infection Decreases Survival in Children - by C. Vidyashankar, MD

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June 15, 2006

HCV Co-infection Decreases Survival in Children
(Reuters Health)

by C. Vidyashankar, MD

June 15, 1006 DELHI (Reuters Health) - Co-infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) hastens the progression of HIV infection in children with thalassemia, researchers from India report.

Dr. Swami Onkar Shivraj from the University of Delhi and colleagues followed the clinical progress of 48 HIV-1 positive, hepatitis B-negative multi-transfused thalassemic children from 1996 onwards. Twenty-five children were HCV positive while the remaining were free from co-infection. None received antiretroviral treatment during the study period up to 2004.

HCV co-infected children had a two-times higher risk than HCV-seronegative children of developing AIDS and dying due to AIDS, Dr. Shivraj and colleagues report in the June issue of the Journal of Tropical Pediatrics.

Specifically, the time taken to develop AIDS was significantly shorter at 87 months in the HCV-positive children as compared to 105 months in the HCV-negative group, they add.

Mean survival from the times of diagnosis was 93 months for the HCV co-infected children as compared to 105 months in the HCV-negative group, the researchers report.

"HCV infection may be an important contributor to the rapid disease progression and increase in mortality in HCV-HIV-1 coinfected children with thalassemia major," Dr. Shivraj and colleagues conclude.

Copyright © 2006 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.

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