Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection raises the risk of death by 75 percent for those who are also coinfected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) and HIV, aidsmap reports. Shedding light on the poorly understood cross section between these three viruses, researchers from the Spanish VACH cohort studied 6,342 people coinfected with HIV and hep C in order to ascertain the risk of mortality associated with hep B infection.

Six percent of the cohort was triple infected with hep B, C and HIV. Among the entire cohort, there were 543 deaths across 26,000 person-years of follow-up, yielding a mortality rate of 2.1 deaths per 100 person years. A first round of analysis showed that hep B infection increased the risk of death by 90 percent among those coinfected with hep C and HIV. After factoring out other variables that affected mortality risk, including prior AIDS-defining illness, age, HIV and hep C treatment histories, CD4 count and viral load, the researchers concluded that hep B increased the risk of death by about 75 percent.

Those variables associated with a lowered risk of mortality included a higher CD4 count, treatment for HIV and hep C, and treatment with Viread (tenofovir, which is included in Truvada, Atripla and Complera), which acts against HIV as well as hep B.

To read the aidsmap report, click here.

To read the study abstract, click here.