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HIV & hepatitis

Liz Highleyman

This booklet is for people living with HIV who want to know more about hepatitis A, B and C. These are viruses that can damage the liver and make you very ill. The information in this booklet can help you to avoid becoming infected with these viruses or to treat and manage them if you are infected. This booklet is not intended to replace discussion with your medical team, but it should help you think about questions you would like answered.

A summary of information and a glossary are provided at the end of the main text.

  • The liver

    ‘Hepatitis’ means inflammation of the liver. It may be caused by viruses, heavy alcohol use, genetic diseases or other factors. The liver is the largest internal organ, located...

  • Hepatitis vaccinations

    Effective vaccinations are available to protect against hepatitis A and hepatitis B. There is currently no vaccine against hepatitis C. All people with HIV should have these vaccinations unless...

  • Hepatitis A

    Hepatitis A virus can cause a short-term, or acute, illness, which normally lasts 10 to 14 days. It has no long-term, or chronic, phase. People with hepatitis...

  • Hepatitis B

    Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is an infection that can cause severe liver damage, sometimes resulting in death. Hepatitis B is very common around the world, particularly in Africa, the...

  • Hepatitis B treatment

    Treatments are available if your immune system does not naturally clear hepatitis B infection. The aims of hepatitis B treatment include stopping HBV reproduction, reducing liver inflammation and...

  • Hepatitis C

    Hepatitis C can cause the same types of symptoms and long-term liver damage as hepatitis B, though the two viruses are not related. Recent estimates find that...

  • Hepatitis C treatment

    Effective treatments are available for hepatitis C. This field is evolving rapidly and standards of care are changing. The newest drugs can cure most people with hepatitis...

  • Medications for hepatitis C

    The old standard of care for hepatitis C treatment for all HCV genotypes was pegylated interferon and ribavirin. Interferon works by stimulating immune system activity against HCV. There...

  • Hepatitis C treatment for people with co-infection

    Current guidelines recommend that you start hepatitis C treatment if you have HIV and HCV co-infection with moderate or worse liver fibrosis (stage F2 to F4) and...

  • Side-effects of hepatitis C treatment

    Interferon and ribavirin can cause difficult side-effects. These can be severe, though they will differ in severity from person to person and can lessen as treatment goes on....

  • Managing advanced liver disease

    Over years or decades, chronic hepatitis B or C can cause serious liver disease including advanced fibrosis, cirrhosis or liver cancer (hepatocellular cancer). As scar tissue or tumours...

  • A team approach to treatment and care

    Your treatment for HIV and for hepatitis B or C should involve a network of specialist doctors. Along with your HIV consultant, this should include the local hepatology...

  • Further information

    For more information on hepatitis, visit the hepatitis topics page on this website. We regularly report news stories about hepatitis and HIV – you can see...

  • Summary

    The liver is an organ with many important functions including processing drugs.Hepatitis B and hepatitis C are serious viral infections that affect the liver.Hepatitis B and C can...

  • Glossary

    acute – A recently developed condition. For viral hepatitis, the first six months of infection.anaemia – A shortage of red blood cells or haemoglobin, or reduced ability...

HIV & hepatitis

Published August 2010

Last reviewed August 2010

Next review February 2014

Contact NAM to find out more about the scientific research and information used to produce this booklet.

Hepatitis information

For more information on hepatitis visit infohep.org.

Infohep is a project we're working on in partnership with the European Liver Patients Association (ELPA).

Visit infohep.org >
This content was checked for accuracy at the time it was written. It may have been superseded by more recent developments. NAM recommends checking whether this is the most current information when making decisions that may affect your health.