POZ – Treatment News : Coinfection With HIV and HCV in Pregnancy
Posted by pozlife on June 15, 2008
Pregnant women coinfected with both HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) are more likely to have detectable HIV levels, even if they’re using antiretroviral (ARV) therapy, than women infected with just HIV. These study results, which suggest that pregnant women living with HIV and HCV should be treated and monitored carefully, are to be published in a forthcoming issue of HIV Medicine.
In addition to protecting their own health, pregnant women with detectable HIV levels are often encouraged to go on ARV therapy as a way to reduce the risk of passing the virus to their babies. There is, however, little data on pregnancy in women who are coinfected with HIV and either HCV or hepatitis B virus (HBV).
Claire Thorne, MD, from the UCL Institute of Child Health at University College London, and her colleagues investigated the medical records of HIV-positive pregnant women enrolled in the European Collaborative Study to determine the role that coinfection plays in women’s health during pregnancy. Of 1,050 HIV-positive women in the study, 12 percent were also infected with HCV and 5 percent were HBV positive.
Thorne’s team found that women coinfected with HIV and HCV were twice as likely to have detectable HIV levels during the last three months of pregnancy—which increases the risk of passing on HIV to the baby—compared with women who were infected only with HIV. Moreover, Thorne’s group found an increased risk for detectable viral loads in coinfected women, regardless of whether they were receiving ARV treatment.