Living with HIV and Hepatitis C Co-infection

  • What is co-infection?

    Co-infection means a person is living with more than one infection at a time. This booklet is about HIV and hepatitis C co-infection.

    HIV attacks your immune system, making it easier for you to get sick. Hepatitis C attacks your liver.

  • You just found out you have HIV and hepatitis C

    Coping with the news that you have HIV and hepatitis C can be difficult. It’s important to know that with information, support and the help of a healthcare team, you can live a long and healthy life.

  • Will you be sicker because you have HIV and hepatitis C?

    If untreated, co-infection is a more serious health issue than having only HIV or hepatitis C. Liver injury can happen more quickly and can be worse in a person who is co-infected.

  • Things you can do to take care of your health

    There are many steps you can take to stay healthy, including getting enough rest, exercising, eating as well as you can and quitting or cutting back on alcohol and other substances that can put a strain on your liver and overall health.

    A support network, including health care providers you can trust, can help too. An HIV or hepatitis C organization can help you get started.

  • Different viruses, different treatments

    Treatments are available for HIV and for hepatitis C. The main goal of HIV treatment is to lower the amount of virus in the body to an undetectable level and keep it there. The main goal of hepatitis C treatment is to cure hepatitis C.

  • Starting treatment for HIV or hepatitis C

    Things to consider before starting treatment for HIV or hepatitis C include getting ready for treatment, learning about your treatment options and if necessary, how to pay for treatment. You and your healthcare team will decide on how to best treat the two viruses.

  • Once you’ve started treatment for HIV or hepatitis C

    For HIV treatment and some hepatitis C treatments, blood tests will show whether treatment is working. Both treatments may cause side effects, and there are ways to manage them. After hepatitis C treatment ends, people have many options for healthy living. For now, HIV treatment is a lifelong commitment.

  • Protecting yourself, protecting others

    HIV and hepatitis C can be passed to another person when blood carrying the virus gets into their bloodstream. HIV can also be passed through semen (cum and pre-cum), vaginal fluids, front hole fluids, anal fluids and breast milk.

    You can protect yourself and others from HIV, hepatitis C and other infections. Learn about your options for safer sex, safer drug use and healthy pregnancy.

  • For more information
  • Acknowledgements