People who already have HIV when they become infected with hepatitis C
virus (HCV) appear to have reduced production of cytokines including
natural interferons active against HCV, according to a study described
in the November 15, 2012, Journal of Infectious Diseases.
Research has shown that HIV/HCV coinfected people tend to experience
faster liver disease progression and respond less well to
interferon-based therapy. Treatment with pegylated interferon aims to
mimic the effect of naturally produced interferons in stimulating immune
responses against HCV. Some studies find that people who are infected
with HIV before HCV (typically the opposite is the case) may have especially rapid hepatitis C progression.