A retrospective analysis of data from a cohort of patients coinfected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) who were treated with highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) at 3 infectious diseases units in northern Italy was performed. While the patients were receiving HAART, CD4+ cell counts significantly increased and HIV RNA serum levels decreased. However, no significant overall changes in alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels and HCV RNA serum levels were observed. Fifteen (4.6%) of 323 patients died within 3 years of follow-up; death was related to cirrhosis in 5 patients (1.6%). No significant difference was observed between cirrhosis-related mortality and mortality related to other causes. Patients with ALT levels >4 times the normal values at initiation of HAART showed a significant decrease in ALT levels, whereas patients with normal ALT levels at initiation of HAART showed a significant increase over time, suggesting that HAART may have long-term beneficial or detrimental effects, depending on patient characteristics.
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