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Hepatitis C Main Forums => Hepatitis C and HIV Coinfection => Topic started by: iana5252 on November 17, 2011, 02:07:47 pm

Title: Any tips for avoiding Hep C for someone already HIV+?
Post by: iana5252 on November 17, 2011, 02:07:47 pm
Posted by Simon as a comment on "Hepatitis C Surpasses HIV as Cause of Death in U.S."

"Is there anything a POZ person can do, besides not drinking alcohol, that can help prevent developing Hepatitis? Anyone?"


Title: Re: Any tips for avoiding Hep C for someone already HIV+?
Post by: Tim Horn on November 17, 2011, 02:28:44 pm

If you're living with HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, limiting (or avoiding) alcohol will always be a major risk-reduction tactic, in terms of slowing disease progression. Fact is, alcohol consumption is a major liver fibrosis and cirrhosis progression risk for most people with viral hepatitis.

That said, there are several additional things that can be done:

1) Keep your HIV under control. We know that people living with HIV and HCV experience hepatitis disease progression faster than those only infected with HCV. There's evidence that keeping HIV in check -- with the use of antiretroviral therapy (particularly agents that are least likely to cause liver toxicity) -- can slow the rate of HCV disease progression.

2) Work closely with your HIV specialist and/or liver specialist.  Keeping a close eye on your liver health -- for example, having liver biopsies, as per your doctors' advice -- is important, as it will allow you to treat your HCV infection before advanced liver disease occurs. Not only is treatment harder to tolerate when cirrhosis has been documented, treatment tends to be less effective once severe liver scarring has occurred.

3) Get vaccinated. If you're not already immune and haven't been vaccinated against hepatitis A and hepatitis B, don't delay in getting these immunizations. If you have hep C, the last thing you need is another viral hepatitis infection.

Let us know if you have any specific questions,

Tim Horn