Research > HIV and Hepatitis C
Project 2: HIV and Hepatitis C co-infection
(Project Lead: K. Peltekian, S. Ratnam)
Background: While HCV infection has been shown to increase the risk of severe hepatotoxicity associated with HAART for those co-infected with HIV, the definition of HCV infection is often limited to anti-HCV positivity. It is likely that the ability to tolerate HAART may be dependent on the extent of liver damage. The question remains whether treatment of HCV-associated liver disease will improve the tolerability of HAART, thus ensuring sustained control of HIV infection.
Objectives: To determine how the natural history of each virus is affected by the other, balancing the risks and benefits of treating each infection, the order and timing of treatment, etc. in persons coinfected with HIV and HCV.
Methods: Systematic characterization of cases using both qualitative and quantitative HCV RNA PCR including genotyping, and the collection of data on treatment algorithms and outcome, particularly for those co-infected with HIV and HCV.
Cross Fertilization: Introduction of additional methodologies such as linkage between clinical and administrative databases will be explored. Better coordination of services across provinces and a larger patient base will provide better research opportunities in this area. The existing Liver Clinic in Nova Scotia will serve as a model for proposed clinics in other provinces.
Funding strategy: There has been a financial commitment on the part of the pharmaceutical industry to support the establishment of a dedicated HCV clinic in NL. Through provincial collaboration, similar funding opportunities will be sought for NB.