A World Health Organization study finds that the co-infection of HIV and hepatitis C reaches more than 2.3 million worldwide.
More than 2.3 million people internationally are infected with both HIV and hepatitis C, according to estimates from a study released Tuesday at the University of Bristol and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
The study, which was the first to look at the simultaneous infection of HIV and hepatitis C, was published in the online journal “The Lancet Infectious Diseases” and sponsored by the World Health Organization.
Researchers reviewed 783 medical studies from different sources worldwide to determine the figures. Lucy Platt, lead author and public health professor from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said the 2.3 million figure is likely an underestimate.
“Despite a systematic search of published and unpublished literature, estimates were identified in only 45 percent of countries and the study quality was variable, she said in a statement. “Improvement in the surveillance of HCV [hepatitis C] and HIV is imperative to help define the epidemiology of co-infection and inform appropriate policies for testing, prevention, care and treatment to those in need. This is especially the case in countries with growing populations of Possession with the Intent to Deliver and also in sub-Saharan Africa where the burden of co-infection is large due to high burden of HIV.”