Hepatitis C is an RNA flavivirus that infects 4 million people in the United States, making it the leading indicator for liver transplant in the US. It has been found that up to 78% of HCV patients become chronic, with nearly 25% of these patients developing end stage cirrhosis.
It has been found that a growing number of people who are infected with HCV have also found to be infected with HIV. Coinfection rates for both HIV and HCV are 15-25%. Part of this is due to the fact that both viruses are transmitted through exposure to infected blood and mucous membranes. Researchers have found is that both infections seem to be working against each other to speed up the negative impact both these diseases do to the body. It has been found that Hepatitis C exacerbates the HIV virus, and vice versa, leading to even further damage.
One of the most common symptoms of HIV / HCV coinfection is higher rates of fast progression to end-stage liver failure with people who have been diagnosed with HIV / HCV coinfection. Other harmful diseases caused by HIV / HCV coinfection have been cancers such as hepatocellular carcinoma.