Since the availability of effective HIV therapies (combination antiretroviral therapies, cART), liver diseases represent one of the most frequent causes of death in HIV-infected persons. In particular, viral hepatitis (chronic hepatitis B and C), but also fatty liver disease (NAFLD/NASH) and drug-induced liver injury (DILI) are common in patients with HIV infection. The research group led by Thomas Reiberger runs a special outpatient clinic for liver disease in HIV patients, which serves as an important point of contact for patients with known or unknown liver disease.
The Vienna HIV & Liver Study Group has established a close collaboration not only with the Clinical Department of Immunodermatology at the AKH Vienna (Head Ass.Prof.Dr.Armin Rieger), but also with the Immunambulance at the Otto-Wagner-Spital (Head OA Dr. Brigitte Schmied), as well as with HIV specialists in private practice (ÖGNAHIV: Austrian Society of General Practitioners for the Care of HIV-Infected Patients). Furthermore, there is a close relationship to the Austrian HIV Cohort Study (AHIVCOS, Head Prof.Dr.Robert Zangerle of the University Clinic for Dermatology in Innsbruck).
The research group contributed significantly to the further development of the antiviral therapy of chronic hepatitis C in HIV patients by optimizing the effectiveness of the traditional interferon-based therapy as well as the therapy with first generation protease inhibitors. Currently, a cure rate of chronic HCV infection of almost 100% is achieved even in HIV-coinfected patients with new interferon-free therapies.
In the special outpatient clinic for liver diseases in HIV patients, patients have access to the expertise of the physicians of the research group as well as to a variety of laboratory-chemical and non-invasive methods for diagnosis. Furthermore, patients with severe liver disease are examined invasively by means of portal pressure measurement and safe (transjugular) liver biopsy in the special outpatient clinic.
Appointments in the special outpatient clinic for liver diseases in HIV patients can usually be made at short notice.