HIV/AIDS and Viral Hepatitis
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are bloodborne viruses transmitted primarily through sexual contact and injection drug use. Because of these shared modes of transmission, a high proportion of adults at risk for HIV infection are also at risk for HBV infection. HIV-positive persons who become infected with Hepatitis B virus (HBV) are at increased risk for developing chronic HBV infection and should be tested. In addition, persons who are co-infected with HIV and HBV can have serious medical complications, including an increased risk for liver-related morbidity and mortality. To prevent HBV infection in HIV-infected persons, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends universal Hepatitis B vaccination of susceptible patients with HIV/AIDS.
About one quarter of HIV-infected persons in the United States are also infected with Hepatitis C virus (HCV). HCV is a bloodborne virus transmitted through direct contact with the blood of an infected person. Thus, coinfection with HIV and HCV is common (50%–90%) among HIV-infected injection drug users. HCV is one of the most important causes of chronic liver disease in the United States and HCV infection progresses more rapidly to liver damage in HIV-infected persons. HCV infection may also impact the course and management of HIV infection. The U.S. Public Health Service/Infectious Diseases Society of America guidelines recommend that all HIV-infected persons be screened for HCV infection.
Dr. John Ward’s YouTube Video – The HIV and Viral Hepatitis Epidemic
In this CDC YouTube video, Dr. John Ward, MD, Director, Division of Viral Hepatitis, CDC discusses the similarities between the Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C epidemics and the HIV epidemic in the United States.
Watch video on YouTube
Guidelines and Recommendations
Hepatitis B Vaccination Recommendations for Adults; Appendix A, B, C
PDF version [PDF – 40 pages] (with appendices)
- Page last reviewed: June 9, 2015
- Page last updated: September 26, 2017
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