Before the mid-1980s, haemophilia often was unknowingly treated with contaminated plasma products, resulting in high rates of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections. To estimate the impact of these infections, a new cohort was established. All HCV-seropositive patients, age 13-88 years, at 52 comprehensive haemophilia treatment centres were eligible. Cross-sectional data collected during April 2001 to January 2004 (median June 2002) were analysed. Plasma HIV-1 and HCV RNA were quantified by polymerase chain reaction. Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) was defined as use of at least three recommended medications. Among 2069 participants, 620 (30%) had HIV-1. Of 1955 with known HBV status, 814 (42%) had resolved HBV and 90 (4.6%) were HBV carriers. Although 80% of the HIV-1-positive participants had ≥200 CD4+ cells μL-1, only 59% were on HAART. HIV-1 RNA was undetectable in 23% of those not taking antiretroviral medications. Most (72%) participants had received no anti-HCV therapy. HCV RNA was detected less frequently (59%) among participants treated with standard interferon plus ribavirin (P = 0.0001) and more frequently among HIV-1-positive than HIV-1-negative participants (85% vs. 70%, P < 0.0001). HIV-1-positive participants were more likely to have pancytopenia and subclinical hepatic abnormalities, as well as persistent jaundice, hepatomegaly, splenomegaly and ascites. HAART recipients did not differ from HIV-negative participants in the prevalence of ascites. The clinical abnormalities were more prevalent with older age but were not confounded by HBV status or self-reported alcohol consumption. Eleven participants presented with or previously had hepatocellular carcinoma or non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Although prospective analysis is needed, our data reveal the scale of hepatic and haematological disease that is likely to manifest in the adult haemophilic population during the coming years unless most of them are successfully treated for HIV-1, HCV or both.
- Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome
- Cohort study
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
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