People coinfected with HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) have a much lower risk of death after being cured of hep C, aidsmap reports. Researchers from the COHERE Hepatitis Subgroup, which studied hep C treatment effects among 3,500 coinfected people, presented their findings at the 15th European AIDS Conference in Barcelona, Spain.

The study participants, members of 18 European cohorts, were followed for at least 96 weeks and all completed interferon-based treatment for hep C. A total of 28.5 percent of them achieved a sustained virologic response (SVR, considered a cure) and were considered “responders,” while 45.3 percent did not achieve an SVR and were therefore “non-responders.” Another 26.2 percent had an unknown response.

A total of 213 participants (6.1 percent) died during a median 3.8 years of follow-up.

The responder and non-responder all-cause mortality rates were a respective 6.79 and 12.31 per 1,000 person-years (person years are the cumulative years participants spend in a study follow-up period). After adjusting for demographics and HIV-related and HCV-related factors, the researchers found that the non-responders had a significantly higher risk of death from any cause.

The responder and non-responder liver-related death rates were a respective 0.73 and 4.17 per 1,000 person-years. Non-responders were 4.5 times more likely to die of liver-related causes than responders. A total of 10.8 percent of all deaths among responders were liver-related, compared with 35.4 percent of the deaths among non-responders. After adjusting for various factors, the researchers found that non-responders still had a higher risk of liver-related death.

To read the aidsmap article, click here.