People with HIV who are coinfected with either hepatitis B or C virus (HBV/HCV) experience diminished response to antiretroviral (ARV) treatment for HIV and have a greater risk of death when compared with those monoinfected with HIV, reports. Investigators analyzed data from the TREAT Asia HIV Observational Database on 7,455 HIV-positive study participants receiving treatment at 22 Asian clinics. Out of those participants with test results that were evaluable, 10.45 percent were coinfected with hep B and 15.2 percent with hep C. The researchers presented their findings at the 7th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention (IAS 2013) in Kuala Lumpur.

After the participants had been treated with ARVs for 180 days, those coinfected with hep B had an average of 15.5 fewer CD4 cells and those coinfected with hep C had 37.8 fewer CD4s when compared with monoinfected participants.

The median length of time those in the study took to reach the target viral load of less than 1,000 was 1.28 years. The coinfected participants took longer to reach this point, although the difference was not statistically significant, meaning that it could have occurred by chance.

However, coinfected participants did have a significantly greater mortality risk: an 80 percent greater likelihood of dying than those with only HIV.

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