Hepatitis C virus coinfection and HIV load, CD4+ cell percentage, and clinical progression to AIDS or death among HIV-infected women: Women and Infants Transmission Study

Ronald C Hershow, Peter T O'Driscoll, Ed Handelsman, Jane Pitt, George Hillyer, Leslie Serchuck, Ming Lu, Katherine T Chen, Sigal Yawetz, Susan Pacheco, Katherine Davenny, Samuel Adeniyi-Jones, David L Thomas
Clinical Infectious Diseases 2005 March 15, 40 (6): 859-67

BACKGROUND: Despite previous study, it remains unclear whether hepatitis C virus (HCV) coinfection affects the progression of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1 infection. The Women and Infants Transmission Study provided an opportunity to assess this issue.

METHODS: Longitudinal data on 652 HIV-1-infected women enrolled in the study before the availability of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART; 1989-1995) were analyzed. Random effects models were used to determine whether HCV coinfection was associated with different CD4+ cell percentages and HIV-1 RNA levels over time, and Cox proportional hazards models were used to compare the rates of clinical progression to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) or death.

RESULTS: Of 652 women, 190 (29%) were HCV infected. During follow-up, 19% of women were exposed to HAART. After controlling for indicators of disease progression (CD4+ cell percentages and HIV-1 RNA levels determined closest to the time of delivery in pregnant women), ongoing drug use, receipt of antiretroviral therapy, and other important covariates, no differences were detected in the HIV-1 RNA levels, but the CD4+ cell percentages were slightly higher in HCV-infected women than in HCV-uninfected women. During follow-up, 48 women had progression to a first clinical AIDS-defining illness (ADI), and 26 died with no documented antecedent ADI. In multivariable analyses, HCV-infected participants did not have faster progression to a first class C AIDS-defining event or death (relative hazard, 0.75; 95% confidence interval, 0.37-1.53).

CONCLUSIONS: In this cohort, the rate of clinical progression of HIV-1 infection was not greater for HCV-infected women.

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