With many of the 1.2 million HIV-infected Americans already in care for their HIV, HIV care providers are in a unique position to treat and likely cure hepatitis C in the approximately one-quarter who are co-infected. This Institute has been created by AAHIVM to help advance knowledge of HIV/HCV co-infection care through educational initiatives, prevention and testing information, relevant research and policy activities. Dr. Margaret Hoffman-Terry, Vice Chair of the AAHIVM Board of Directors, serves as Director of the Institute.
Research in hepatitis C has benefited greatly from the framework of HIV research laid down in the past 30 years, rocketing along at breakneck speed and condensing into years what previously would have taken decades. HIV providers, with their understanding of virology, resistance, drug–to-drug interactions, and the psychosocial needs of this population, stand in unique stead to expertly treat hepatitis C.
A survey of AAHIVM HIV-treating members and specialists in community health and Ryan White clinics, private practices, and academic and/or hospital settings (N=114) showed that HIV practitioners are caring for significant numbers of patients with Hepatitis C. Some of the key statistics include:
While AAHIVM has already conducted a number of HCV policy and educational initiatives (such as the clinical workshops on co-infection), the Institute will provide a greater focus on HCV for the Academy, and expand our programmatic activities in the future.