Living with Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) and HIV?

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It is estimated that about 13% of PLHIV have coinfection with Hepatitis C. In Queensland, this equates to about 360-450 people living with HIV/HCV coinfection.  It is known that HIV speeds up hepatitis C disease progression and so worsens hepatitis C outcomes.  Less is known of the effect of hepatitis C on HIV, although it may elevate HIV viral load.

Hepatitis C can be acquired sexually, and this is rising among gay men/men who have sex with men. Transmission can also occur through the sharing of injecting equipment among people who use drugs. More info?

The good news is, if you haven’t heard already, that new direct acting antivirals (DAAs) may cure hepatitis C in as little as 8-12 weeks of treatment, comprising taking a single daily pill (or sometimes 2), with little or no side effects.  There may be some HIV antiretroviral treatment interactions with some hepatitis C treatments, but this will be managed by your treating doctor, and is able to be worked around and not be a problem, especially for the short duration of taking hepatitis C treatments. Talk to your doctor about the new hepatitis C treatments.  With treatment, there is a very real, high chance most people (95%) can cure their hepatitis C, relieving the burden of coinfection.

Depending upon genotype (strain) of Hep C, the following info-graphic shows which treatments will likely be chosen (and their brand names):

Anyone with hepatitis C is eligible for the PBS listed (subsidised) treatment – which is $6.20 per month with a health care card or $38.10 for those without a health care card/non-concession rate. Medicare ineligible people with hep C may need to discuss access options with their doctor/specialist, or contact Hepatitis Queensland on 07 3846 0020, or 1800 437 222, or or

The Kirby Institute is conducting a research project in support of the uptake of these new treatments among people living with HIV and Hepatitis C. The CEASE project is an ongoing national surveillance and hep C treatment scale-up project for people living with HIV and hep C.  It has 5 components, which includes a component (CEASE-V) for non-responders or relapsers (i.e. people who did not achieve sustained cure from previous hep C treatment) or people who were reinfected with hepatitis C (after previous successful treatment).  Recruitment is currently open for the surveillance phase (surveying among PLHIV with hep C coinfection) and those who are about to commence the new hepatitis C treatments in association with their local treating physician.

All enquires for the CEASE project can be directed to the trial coordinator at The Kirby Institute: Miss Lanni Lin on: (02) 9385 9970; or at

Clinical sites for the CEASE project in Queensland are: Brisbane Sexual Health Clinic, Cairns Sexual Health clinic, and Royal Brisbane Hospital (Infectious Diseases unit).

More Info?

NAPWHA Media Release:

About the CEASE project:

About Hep C coinfection and the new hepatitis C treatments: