A Growing Number of People With HIV Have Fatty Liver Disease
The number of HIV-positive Medicare recipients with liver disease is rising, almost entirely as a result of NAFLD
April 18, 2019 • By Liz Highleyman

POZ | 4/18/2019 | Staff
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Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a growing cause of serious liver problems and liver-related death among people living with HIV now that hepatitis C can be cured, according to research presented at the 2019 International Liver Congress last week in Vienna.

As highly effective treatments for hepatitis B and C lead to reduced mortality among people with HIV, “NAFLD is becoming an increasingly important cause of liver disease,” said presenter Zobair Younossi, MD, PhD, of Inova Fairfax Medical Campus in Falls Church, Virginia. In the future, he suggested, NAFLD could become the leading cause of liver disease in this population.

People - HIV - Thanks - Treatment—almost - Half

As people with HIV are living longer thanks to effective antiretroviral treatment—almost half of HIV-positive people are now over 50—non–HIV-related conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, non-AIDS cancers and liver disease, account for a rising proportion of illness and death in this population. As HIV-positive people become healthier, they are also more likely to be overweight, Younossi noted.

Many people living with HIV also have hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV), which are transmitted in some of the same ways. But an effective HBV vaccine has been available since the late 1980s, antiviral medications like Viread (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate) and Baraclude (entecavir) can keep hepatitis B under control and hepatitis C can now be cured with direct-acting antivirals. Among HIV-positive people—like the U.S. population as a whole—viral hepatitis is falling as a cause of serious liver disease while NAFLD is rising.

Fatty - Liver - Disease - Form - Steatohepatitis

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and its more severe form, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), are caused by the buildup of fat in the liver. This triggers inflammation, which over time can lead to the development of fibrosis (scarring), cirrhosis (severe scarring and loss of liver function) and liver cancer. There are currently no effective treatments for NAFLD and NASH, and management of...
(Excerpt) Read more at: POZ
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