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Hepatitis Delta Found in 15% of HIV/HBV Coinfected People, Increases Risk of Death

Approximately 15% of people with HIV who test positive for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) also carry hepatitis delta virus (HDV), a defective virus that can only replicate in the presence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) but can lead to more severe liver damage, according to a recent European study.alt

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One-quarter of Patients Clear Hepatitis Delta with Pegylated Interferon

Treatment with pegylated interferon (Pegasys) -- either alone or in combination with the antiviral drug adefovir (Hepsera) -- led to clearance of hepatitis delta virus (HDV) and improvement in liver enzyme levels, according to a small study published in the January 27, 2011, New England Journal of Medicine. Adefovir alone, however, had no effect on HDV.

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