Effect of serostatus for hepatitis C virus on mortality among antiretrovirally naive HIV-positive patients

Braitstein, Paula; Yip, Benita; Montessori, Valentina; Moore, David; Montaner, Julio S. G.; Hogg, Robert S.
July 2005
CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal;7/19/2005, Vol. 173 Issue 2, p160
Academic Journal
Abstract Background We examined the effect of hepatitis C virus (HCV) seropositivity on risk of death among people receiving their first antiretroviral treatment (ART) for HIV infection. Methods In British Columbia, the HIV/ AIDS Drug Treatment Program is the only source of free ART. Patients who initiated a triple-drug ART regimen between July 31, 1996, and July 31, 2000, were included if they were ART-naive and had baseline HCV serological data. Outcomes of interest for survival analysis were deaths from natural and HIV-related causes, with a data cutoff of June 30, 2003. Results Of 1186 eligible subjects, 606 (51%) were HCV positive and 580, negative. Fewer HCV-positive people were male (78% v. 93%, pp< 0.001) and had an AIDS diagnosis at baseline (11% v. 15%, p= 0.028). Their CD4 fraction was significantly higher at baseline (19% v. 16% of T lymphocytes, p < 0.001) but their absolute CD4 counts, log HIV viral load and the type of ART initiated were similar to those of HCV negative people. Of 163 deaths (from natural causes only) during the study period, 118 (19%) were in HCV positive and 45 (8%) in HCV negative patients ( p < 0.001); of the 114 deaths attributed to HIV infection, these proportions were 79 (13%) versus 35 (6%; p< 0.001). After adjustment for potential confounders, HCV seropositivity remained predictive of death (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 2.20, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.50–3.21, p < 0.001), especially HIV-related death (adjusted HR 1.75, 95% CI 1.13–2.72, p= 0.012). Interpretation In this population-based HIV treatment program, we found HCV seropositivity to be an independent predictor of mortality, especially death related to HIV infection.


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