Revolutionary discovery for liver disease patients

A groundbreaking new study highlights the differences between the successful and unsuccessful treatment of liver disease with relation to HIV and HCV sufferers. If liver disease is left untreated, it can have life threatening impacts upon this group of patients.

Sussex Gastroenterologist, Dr Jeremy Tibble has orchestrated the experiment to help find a treatment to prevent liver disease from worsening in HIV sufferers.

Of 40 million people infected with HIV worldwide, approximately 25-30% are also infected with HCV related liver disease. Liver disease has emerged as a major cause of death among co-infected patients.  HIV negatively affects every stage of HCV infection. It enhances HCV transmission, whilst decreasing HCV clearance, which in turn leads to higher rates of chronic infection.

Until now, it hasn’t been understood why liver disease has such a negative impact upon HIV sufferers. However, after much investigation and experiments, answers have finally been reached.

T-regulatory cells (Treg) play an important role in self-toleration and immunity. However, in liver infected HIV sufferers, Tregs are associated with impairment of blood immunity responses.

The study uses Pathology and Clinical Biochemistry databases as its primary sources. It has concluded that co-infected patients could benefit from the early introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART).

If HAART can be started before cell numbers decline, then Treg numbers and immune regulatory activity may be preserved. This potential mechanism may help to benefit patients.

To view the study in full click here.

Alternatively, if you are a medical professional wishing to find out more, or a GP who would like Dr Tibble to talk at their practice, please fill in the ‘contact us’ form or email

If you are a patient seeking advice or an appointment with any gastroenterological issue please call one of the team on 01273 627059


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