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HIV & hepatitis

Liz Highleyman, Keith Alcorn

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, and in some cases cause liver cancer. The information in this booklet can help you to avoid getting these viruses or to treat and manage the viruses if you have them. 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.

Thanks to the people with personal experience of HIV and hepatitis and members of our medical review panel for their assistance in reviewing this booklet. In particular: David Rowlands; Dr Sanjay Bhagani, Consultant Physician, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust; Tom Fernandez, Nurse Practitioner, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust.

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  • The liver

    ‘Hepatitis’ means inflammation of the liver. It may be caused by viruses, heavy alcohol use, fat accumulation in the liver, genetic diseases or other factors. The liver is the...

  • Hepatitis vaccinations

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

  • 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 replication, reducing liver inflammation, and...

  • Hepatitis C

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

  • Hepatitis C treatment

    Effective direct-acting antiviral or 'DAA' medicines, used without interferon, can now cure most people with hepatitis C. This includes people who previously were considered to be more difficult...

  • Medications for hepatitis C

    DAAs target different steps of HCV reproduction. These include HCV protease inhibitors, polymerase inhibitors and NS5A inhibitors. Recommended regimens include at least two drugs that work in different...

  • Treatment outcomes

    Hepatitis C is considered to be cured if the virus cannot be detected 12 weeks after completing treatment. This is called a sustained virological response (SVR). Recommended direct-acting...

  • Taking treatment

    It is important to take all doses of hepatitis C treatment in order to get the best results. Make sure you are ready to take a course...

  • Side-effects of hepatitis C treatment

    Direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) used in interferon-free regimens are well tolerated, with few side-effects. Overall, the most common side-effects in clinical trials of these drugs were fatigue, headache and...

  • Treatment for people with HIV and HCV co-infection

    In the UK, standards for HIV treatment and care are set and monitored by the British HIV Association (BHIVA), the professional association for HIV doctors and other healthcare...

  • Managing advanced liver disease

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

  • Reinfection after treatment

    Some people may become reinfected with hepatitis C after being cured. Some studies show quite a high rate of reinfection in gay and bisexual men. There is...

  • Complementary approaches

    Many people with hepatitis use complementary or alternative therapies, either as a treatment for liver disease or to help relieve symptoms or side-effects. Some people with liver disease use...

  • A team approach to treatment and care

    Treatment for HIV and for hepatitis B or C should involve a network of experienced care providers. Along with your HIV consultant, this may include doctors who specialise...

  • Further information

    Your HIV clinic should be able to offer you information and support related to living with hepatitis B or C. You may also find the following organisations...

  • 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, refers to the first six months of infection. anaemia – A shortage of red blood cells or haemoglobin, or...

HIV & hepatitis

Published December 2017

Last reviewed December 2017

Next review December 2020

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

NAM is grateful to Janssen and Wandsworth Oasis for funding towards the production of this resource. Neither Janssen nor any of our other funders has had any control over the design or content of the 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) and the World Hepatitis Alliance.

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.
Community Consensus Statement on Access to HIV Treatment and its Use for Prevention

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We can end HIV soon if people have equal access to HIV drugs as treatment and as PrEP, and have free choice over whether to take them.

Launched today, the Community Consensus Statement is a basic set of principles aimed at making sure that happens.

The Community Consensus Statement is a joint initiative of AVAC, EATG, MSMGF, GNP+, HIV i-Base, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, ITPC and NAM/aidsmap
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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.

NAM’s information is intended to support, rather than replace, consultation with a healthcare professional. Talk to your doctor or another member of your healthcare team for advice tailored to your situation.