HIV and HCV progression in parenterally coinfected children.

Original article


England K, Thorne C, Castelli-Gattinara G, Vigano A, El Mehabresh MI, Newell ML.

MRC Centre of Epidemiology for Child Health, Institute of Child Health, University College London, 30 Guilford Street, London WC1N 1EH, UK.

Curr HIV Res. 2009 May;7(3):346-53.


Shared transmission routes of HCV and HIV mean parenteral HIV/HCV coinfection still occurs, often in resource-limited settings. The extent to which coinfection and treatment impact on morbidity and mortality in HIV/HCV coinfected children remains unknown thus optimal management and treatment is difficult to achieve. Using data from a unique, large, prospective cohort of parenterally HIV/HCV coinfected children in Libya we determine the immunological, virological and clinical profiles of HIV/HCV coinfected children documenting the natural and treated history of parenterally acquired coinfection for the first time in such a large group. 160 parenterally HIV/HCV coinfected children were analysed. Thirty-three (21%) received antiretroviral treatment (ART) for HIV disease during follow-up. In children receiving ART, HIV RNA viral load decreased in two-thirds 6-12 months after initiation. 85% (17/20) experienced a positive immunological response to ART with a median increase in CD4 cell count z-score of 131%. Half had progressed to moderate or severe immunosuppression and/or moderate or severe clinical symptoms three years after infection. In those who progressed during follow-up, 85% had done so within three years of infection. Children progressing to moderate or severe immunosuppression and/or clinical symptoms were significantly more likely to be receiving ART. This novel investigation of the natural and treated history of parenterally HIV/HCV coinfected children in a large prospectively followed group demonstrates minimal clinical symptoms and immunosuppression to date, despite low prevalence of treatment, and a response to ART similar to vertically HIV-only infected children.

Keywords: HIV/HCV coinfection, natural history, parenteral infection, children