Impact of viral hepatitis co-infection on response to antiretroviral therapy and HIV disease progression in the HIV-NAT cohort

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Objective:To examine the impact of viral hepatitis co-infection on HIV disease outcomes following commencement of combination antiretroviral therapy in a developing country setting.Methods:HIV RNA suppression, CD4 cell count recovery, and HIV disease progression were examined within a cohort of Thai HIV-infected patients enrolled in eight HIV-NAT randomized controlled trials of antiretroviral therapy (n = 692). Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) testing was performed on stored serum.Results:Mean age was 32.3 years, 52% were male, 11% had CDC category C HIV disease at baseline, and 22% had received prior antiretroviral therapy. Prevalence of HBV, HCV and HBV/HCV co-infection was 8.7, 7.2 and 0.4%, respectively. Median HIV RNA reductions (log10 copies/ml) were approximately 1.5 for HIV, HIV-HBV, HIV-HCV subgroups from week 4 up to week 48. Mean increases in CD4 cell count were significantly lower among HIV-HBV and HIV-HCV subgroups at week 4 (HIV, 62 × 106 cells/l; HIV-HBV, 29 × 106 cells/l; HIV-HCV, 33 × 106 cells/l), however, by week 48 CD4 cell increases were similar (HIV, 115 × 106 cells/l; HIV-HBV, 113 × 106 cells/l; HIV-HCV, 97 × 106 cells/l). Cox regression analyses showed that HIV-HBV or HIV-HCV co-infection were not associated with a CD4 cell count increase of 100 × 106 cells/l over 48 weeks. Estimated progression to AIDS event or death at week 48 was 3.3% (95% confidence interval, 2.0–5.1%) for HIV, 6.7% (2.5–14.6%) for HIV-HBV, and 8.0% (2.2–20.5%) for HIV-HCV subgroups (P > 0.05).Conclusions:An early delayed CD4 count recovery among HIV/viral hepatitis co-infected patients was not sustained, and was not associated with increased HIV disease progression.

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