Hepatitis C and HIV Co-infection: A Treatment Update from CATIE

The Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange (CATIE) has devoted the June/July Issue 2008 of its Treatment Update to a review of recent research on Hepatitis C and HIV. Here are some of the main points:

1. Although commonly viewed as simply a liver disease, Hepatitis C in recent research is strongly linked to diabetes, pre-diabetes and insulin resistance. In fact, about one-third of people with Hep C show insulin resistance, a complication that reduces chances of recovery and may lead to additional problems. Thus, researchers “need to find ways to reverse IR [insulin resistance]. Such methods could include clinical trials of diet, exercise programs and insulin-sensitizing drugs or supplements such as chromium.”

2. The HIV medication ddI (didanosine, Videx or Videx EC) has been associated with liver disease in some cases. Researchers have speculated that ddI decreases levels of a protective compound called glutathione (GSH), which is used in the body to make enzymes that help detoxification. NAC, or N-acetyl-cysteine, has been shown to raise GSH levels in people with HIV, and so could be helpful in countering ddI-related liver problems. (However, no clinical trials have yet been conducted to assess NAC’s impact on the liver health of people with HIV taking ddI.)

Read the complete Treatment Update issue here:

CATIE Treatment Update June/July 2008

For more information on the supplements mentioned above, see the NYBC entries on


NAC or N-acetylcysteine

Or, see further entries for these two supplements on this blog.