As the AIDS pandemic continues its slow decline in the United States, the number of deaths attributed to the growing Hepatitis C epidemic now exceeds those from HIV-related illnesses.
Death rates related to HIV infection continue to fall. Whereas HIV contributed to 6 per 100,000 deaths in 1999, the rate dropped to less than four per 100,000 deaths in 2007. Hepatitis C–related deaths have increased sharply, Holmberg’s team reported. Whereas HCV contributed to roughly 3 per 100,000 deaths in 1999, the HCV-related death rate exceeded 4 per 100,000 people in the United States by 2007. With respect to crude numbers, roughly 12,700 HIV-related deaths were reported to the National Center for Health Statistics in 2007. More than 15,000 HCV-related deaths were reported to the center that year.
Alcohol abuse and an HIV co-infection are highly associated with Hep C fatalities.