Hepatitis and HIV/AIDS
According to CDC, persons already infected with HIV/AIDS can also be infected with
Hepatitis C (HCV) although symptoms may not be present.
HIV/AIDS and HCV co-infection may also affect the treatment of HIV infection.1
Therefore, it is crucial for HIV-infected persons to know whether they are also infected with
HCV. If not infected with HCV, it is important to know how to take steps towards
About 50-90% HIV/AIDS infected drug users are also infected with the HCV. 5
What is Hepatitis?
Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver that can caused by a virus such as Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B
and Hepatitis C which are the most common ones but it can also be caused by heavy alcohol use,
toxins, medications and other medical conditions2 that may cause liver cancer3.
An acute viral disease affecting the liver caused by the Hepatitis A virus (HAV). It is transmitted
through anal-oral contact or contaminated food or water. Symptoms are fever, malaise, loss of
appetite, diarrhea, nausea, abdominal discomfort, dark-colored urine, light (whitish) feces and
jaundice. Hepatitis, at times, can be asymptomatic.
A contagious liver disease raging from mild to severe illness caused by the Hepatitis B virus (HBV)
found in blood and semen.4 It is transmitted when unvaccinated persons come in contact with
infected person’s blood, urine or bodily fluids such as semen, vaginal and anal secretions; via
syringe/needle sharing; contaminated pedicure/manicure equipment; unprotected sexual
intercourse, or oral sex. 5 Symptoms are fever, malaise, loss of appetite, diarrhea, nausea,
abdominal discomfort, dark-colored urine, whitish feces and jaundice.
Acute Hepatitis B virus infection is a short-term illness that occurs within the first 6
months after someone is exposed to the Hepatitis B virus that may lead to chronic infection.
Chronic Hepatitis B virus infection is a long-term illness that occurs when the Hepatitis B
virus remains in an individual’s body.
A virus that affects the liver and can ultimately cause cirrhosis, liver cancer and liver failure. Often
HCV is not diagnosed until a degree of liver damage is already experienced. According to the
CDC, among Latinos, HCV rated has experienced very little change since 2004.
**There are 4 million people in the U.S. that are infected with Hepatitis**
Center for Disease Control. Viral Hepatitis. Information for Gay/Bisexual Men. June 2010.
Center for Disease Control. Viral Hepatitis 2009. http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/
Center for Disease Control. Hepatitis B information for Health Professionals. October 2010. http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/HBV/index.htm
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2006. A comprehensive Immunization Strategy to Eliminate Transmission of Hepatitis B Virus Infection in
the United States. December 8, 2006. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5516a1.htm?s_cid=rr5516a1_e
Center for Disease Control Coinfection with HIV and Hepatitis C Virus. March 2007. http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/resources/factsheets/coinfection.htm