Since the availability of effective HIV therapies (antiretroviral combination therapies, cART), liver diseases have been one of the most common causes of death in people infected with HIV. Viral hepatitis in particular (chronic hepatitis B and C), but also fatty liver diseases (NAFLD/NASH) and drug-induced liver damage (drug -induced liver injury, DILI) are common in patients with HIV infection. The research group around Thomas Reiberger runs a special outpatient clinic for liver diseases in HIV patients, which acts as an important contact point for patients with known or unknown liver diseases.
The Vienna HIV & Liver Study Group not only works closely with the clinical department for immunodermatology at the AKH Vienna (head Ass.Prof.Dr.Armin Rieger), but also with the immune outpatient clinic in the Otto-Wagner-Spital (head Ms. OA Dr. Brigitte Schmied), as well as established HIV specialists (ÖGNAHIV: Austrian society for established doctors for the care of HIV-infected people). Furthermore, there is a close connection to the Austrian HIV cohort study (AHIVCOS, head of Prof. Dr. Robert Zangerle of the University Clinic for Dermatology in Innsbruck).
The research group made a significant contribution to the further development of antiviral therapy for chronic hepatitis C in HIV patients by significantly optimizing both the effectiveness of traditional interferon-based therapy and therapy using first-generation protease inhibitors in the course of studies. Currently, a cure rate of almost 100% of chronic HCV infection is achieved even in HIV co-infected patients with new interferon-free therapies.
In the special outpatient department for liver diseases in HIV patients, in addition to the expertise of the doctors in the research group, a large number of laboratory and non-invasive methods for diagnostics are available to patients. Furthermore, in the special outpatient department, patients with severe liver disease undergo invasive diagnostics using portal vein pressure measurement and reliable (transjugular) liver biopsy.
Appointments in the special outpatient department for liver diseases in HIV patients can usually be arranged at short notice.