Issues in the diagnosis and treatment of viral co-infection by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and Hepatitis C (HCV)

While an estimated 30 per cent of British Columbians living with HIV are also infected with Hepatitis C, which is becoming a leading cause of death among HIV-positive people, the issue of co-infection has received relatively little attention. Paula Braitstein hopes to change that by focusing her research on how to most effectively treat people who are co-infected with the diseases. By analysing data from the Vancouver Injection Drug Users Study and Drug Treatment Program of the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, she hopes to answer outstanding questions, such as whether patients fare better when treated for Hepatitis C before beginning HIV treatment. Braitstein believes that finding these answers will have a profound and timely impact on treatment of co-infected individuals. This project builds on a significant body of HIV work that Braitstein has already accumulated. Her goal is to make a substantial contribution to the health of Canadians through a research career in epidemiology.