Hep-CAUSAL is a consortium of cohorts of people who are co-infected with HIV and the hepatitis C virus (HCV) in Europe and the Americas. The research team, led by Sara Lodi, includes investigators from each of the participating studies.
Co-infection places patients at higher risks of morbidity and mortality from hepatic (cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma) and extra-hepatic (cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, diabetes) diseases. Direct-acting antiviral agents (DAA), which clear the virus in 95 percent of patients, transformed treatment for HCV infection. However, even after cure is achieved, the risk of hepatic and extra-hepatic disease remains and some individuals become reinfected with HCV. By combining observational data and cutting-edge causal inference methods, Hep-CAUSAL will estimate the long-term risk of HCV reinfection, hepatic disease, and extra-hepatic disease under the current guidelines that recommend DAA for all HCV and HIV co-infected patients. As millions of people are expected to receive DAA in the US and globally, the findings of Hep-CAUSAL will inform post-cure management guidelines and how to maximize the benefits of DAA treatment in the long-term.