In the U.S., an estimated 3.5-5.3 million people are living with viral hepatitis infection and 1.1 million people are living with HIV infection. Because HIV, hepatitis B virus (HBV), and hepatitis C virus (HCV) share common modes of transmission, approximately one-third of HIV-infected persons are co-infected with HBV or HCV; among some groups, the rates of co-infection are even higher. Because the progression of viral hepatitis is accelerated among persons with HIV, persons who are co-infected experience greater risk of viral persistence, advanced liver fibrosis, cirrhosis, end-stage liver disease, hepatocellular carcinoma, and liver-related death compared to persons without HIV. In an effort to avert these consequences, particularly for persons living with HIV, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has released a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to explore “(a) the interactions between HIV and hepatitis viruses, (b) co-morbidities associated with HIV/hepatitis virus co-infection, and (c) the effectiveness of interferon-free, direct-acting antiviral drug regimens to treat HIV/HCV co-infection.”
Now is a critical time to act on opportunities to improve our understanding of HIV and viral hepatitis comorbidities and improve related care.
Read the R01 FOA here; read the R21 FOA here.
Read more about HIV-viral hepatitis co-infection.
At the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Ronald Valdiserri, MD, MPH, is deputy assistant secretary for health, infectious diseases, and director of the Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy. This article was originally published on AIDS.gov.