Hepatitis C and HIV

NOMOREC

Important messages:
- You are less likely to self-heal of hepatitis C if you are HIV positive.
- However, you have a more than 95% chance of being cured with HCV medication if you are HIV positive.
- Not yet taking HIV medication? HIV treatment limits the damage that a hepatitis C infection can cause.

Effect of HIV on hepatitis C

If you are HIV positive, you are in a less favourable position than if you would not have HIV. However, the latest medication works just as well with HIV positive men as it does with HIV negative men.

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  • You are less likely to self-heal of hepatitis C if you are HIV positive.
  • If you are HIV positive, it can take the body a lot longer to make antibodies to fight hepatitis C. This means an antibody test may miss the virus.
  • Scarring of the liver (fibrosis) develops faster if you are HIV positive.
  • You can pass on hepatitis C more easily if you are HIV positive. HIV increases the level of the hepatitis C virus (viral load) in your blood.

The good news is that you have a 95% chance of being cured with HCV medication, whether you are HIV positive or negative.

 

 

Starting HIV treatment

Treatment with HIV inhibitors limits the damage that hepatitis C can cause. Not yet taking HIV medication? Hepatitis C creates an additional reason to begin taking HIV inhibitors as soon as possible. Discuss this with your HIV doctor.

You may need to change HIV medication

Interactions between the Hepatitis C drugs and the HIV drugs could occur. This means that one of both treatments perform less than expected, or that there is a bigger chance of having side effects from the pills you take. Your doctor may decide to change your HIV medication (for a short while). Once you have been cured of hepatitis C, you can go back to taking your old HIV medication.

 

 

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