Impact of hepatitis C viral replication on CD4+ T-lymphocyte progression in HIV–HCV coinfection before and after antiretroviral therapy Academic Article uri icon

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  • Objective

    HIV is known to have a negative impact on the progression of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, whereas the reverse remains unclear. We examined the impact of spontaneous clearance of HCV on CD4(+) T-lymphocyte count progression before and after initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in HIV-HCV coinfected adults.


    Data were analysed from participants in a Canadian, multisite prospective cohort of HIV-infected adults with serologic evidence of HCV infection. The rate of CD4(+) T-lymphocyte change was determined using multivariate mixed linear regression comparing chronically HCV RNA+ with spontaneous clearers (persistently HCV RNA- without HCV therapy).


    Baseline characteristics of the 271 participants analysed did not differ between individuals whose HCV RNA cleared (n = 35) and those whose HCV RNA persisted (n = 236) except with respect to markers of liver disease. HCV RNA+ individuals had on average seven-times slower recovery of CD4(+) T-cells on chronic ART compared with HCV RNA-: (adjusted change in absolute CD4 cell T-lymphocyte count per year: 4 (95% confidence interval, -0.6 to 8) cells/microl vs. 26 (95% confidence interval, 12 to 41) cells/microl; P < 0.001. Analyses restricted to individuals initiating ART showed similar results. There was also a trend to greater CD4 decline prior to ART initiation among those HCV RNA+, although this did not reach statistical significance.


    We found that CD4 cell progression is negatively affected by the presence of ongoing HCV replication in coinfected individuals initiating ART which persisted throughout stable ART suggesting active HCV infection affects immune restoration even after years of ART exposure.

publication date

  • July 31, 2010

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