The Sixth National HIV Strategy

6.3.6 People with HIV and hepatitis B and/or C co-infection

Page last updated: July 2010

It is estimated that about 11% of HIV-positive people also have hepatitis C infection, 6% hepatitis B infection and 1% both hepatitis B and C infections. This group of people has poor health outcomes, when compared with people with HIV infection only. Co-infection with HIV and hepatitis B significantly increases mortality.

There is also strong evidence that controlling hepatitis C infection is an important factor in obtaining better clinical outcomes for people with HIV co-infection. The importance of ensuring that all people with HIV and hepatitis B and C co-infection have priority access to best practice treatment, as supported by current research, is recognised.

These people often face stigma and experience discrimination when accessing treatment and other health and social services and require targeted peer support. Communication between health and social service agencies will be essential to ensure that people do not fall through the cracks. This concern will need to be addressed in prevention as well as care and support areas during the implementation planning phase.