for people ages 18 years and up (full criteria)
at San Diego, California and other locations
study started
completion around
Principal Investigator
by Rohit Loomba, MD
Headshot of Rohit Loomba
Rohit Loomba



Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a spectrum of liver conditions associated with fat accumulation that ranges from benign, non-progressive liver fat accumulation to severe liver injury, cirrhosis, and liver failure. The spectrum of NAFLD encompasses simple nonalcoholic steatosis (nonalcoholic fatty liver [NAFL]) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) in which there is evidence of hepatocellular injury and/or fibrosis. NAFLD is the most common liver disease in adults and the second leading cause for liver transplantation in the U.S. The natural history of NAFLD in the general population has been well described. The NASH Clinical Research Network (NASH CRN) was established by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) in 2002 to further the understanding of the diagnosis, mechanisms, progression and therapies of NASH. This effort has resulted in numerous seminal studies in the field. However, NASH CRN studies have systematically excluded persons living with HIV (PLWH) , as NAFLD in PLWH was thought to be different from that in the general population due to HIV infection, antiretroviral therapy (ART), concomitant medications and co-infections. This resulted in major knowledge gaps regarding NAFLD in the setting of HIV infection. Thus, the natural history of NAFLD in PLWH is largely unknown. The goal of this ancillary study of NAFLD and NASH in Adults with HIV (HIV NASH CRN), is to conduct a prospective, observational, multicenter study of NAFLD in PLWH (HIV-associated NAFLD).

Official Title

Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease In Persons Living With HIV Database Study


NAFLD is the most prevalent of all liver disorders and is the most common cause of chronic aminotransferase elevations in the U.S. With the availability of highly effective ART, chronic liver disease has become a leading cause of non-AIDS related morbidity and mortality in PLWH. NAFLD is projected to become the leading cause of liver disease in the aging HIV population. While there is evidence that both Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C infection follow an accelerated course in PLWH, it is unknown if NAFLD is also accelerated in PLWH. Unlike NAFLD in the general population, there is a significant lack of characterization of the natural history of NAFLD in PLWH. This prospective observational study of PLWH with NAFLD will examine the natural history of HIV-associated NAFLD. It will also test the accuracy of non-invasive assessments of advanced fibrosis in detecting histologically confirmed advanced fibrosis in PLWH, and establish a robust biospecimen bank (plasma, serum, genomic DNA, and urine; peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and stool at select sites).


NAFLD, NASH - Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis, Hiv, Liver Diseases, Fatty Liver, Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease


You can join if…

Open to people ages 18 years and up

  • Documented HIV infection
  • ≥18 of age at time of initial screening
  • HIV suppression with HIV RNA <200 copies/ml on stable ART for ≥ 6 months and no change in ART class for ≥ 3 months, prior to enrollment
  • Participants must meet at least one of the following inclusion criteria:
    • Histologically confirmed NAFLD [defined as NAFL (>5% steatosis, with or without lobular or portal inflammation), borderline NASH or definitive NASH] within 6 months prior to screening (per local pathology report)
    • Liver stiffness measurement (LSM) ≥8 kPa from FibroScan exam performed during screening or within 6 months prior to screening and NAFLD based on clinical and imaging (FibroScan CAP≥263 dB/m, ultrasound, CT or MRI) diagnosis
  • Able to provide written informed consent to part
  • Willingness to be in the study for 1 or more years
  • Provision of written informed consent

You CAN'T join if...

  • Positive hepatitis B surface antigen
  • Evidence of recent or current hepatitis C virus (HCV) as marked by the presence of anti-HCV antibody with detectable HCV RNA in serum within 3 years prior to enrollment. Participants with anti-HCV antibody positivity who have undetectable HCV RNA 3 years prior to enrollment (either due to spontaneous clearance or clearance with treatment) will be eligible to participate if HCV RNA at entry remains undetected
  • Significant alcohol consumption (≥ 3 drinks daily on average in men and ≥ 2 drinks daily on average in women)
  • Evidence of other causes of chronic liver disease
  • History of prolonged (> 1 month) total parenteral nutrition within a 6-month period before liver biopsy or before baseline FibroScan VCTE exam
  • Short bowel syndrome
  • History of biliopancreatic diversion
  • History of bariatric surgery within 2 years of enrollment (participants expecting to undergo bariatric surgery can be enrolled prior to the procedure)
  • Solid organ transplant recipients
  • Other condition that is likely to interfere with study follow-up


  • University of California, San Diego accepting new patients
    San Diego California 92121 United States
  • University of California, San Francisco accepting new patients
    San Francisco California 94143 United States

Lead Scientist at UCSD

  • Rohit Loomba, MD
    Professor, Medicine, Vc-health Sciences-schools. Authored (or co-authored) 265 research publications


accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
Johns Hopkins University
Study Type
Expecting 400 study participants
Last Updated