The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of CD4+ T-cell counts and other characteristics of HIV-infected individuals on hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA levels. METHODS: All HIV-HCV-coinfected Swiss HIV Cohort Study participants with available HCV RNA levels and concurrent CD4+ T-cell counts before starting HCV therapy were included. Potential predictors of HCV RNA levels were assessed by multivariate censored linear regression models that adjust for censored values. RESULTS: The study included 1,031 individuals. Low current and nadir CD4+ T-cell counts were significantly associated with higher HCV RNA levels (P = 0.004 and 0.001, respectively). In individuals with current CD4+ T-cell counts < 200/microl, median HCV RNA levels (6.22 log10 IU/ml) were +0.14 and +0.24 log10 IU/ml higher than those with CD4+ T-cell counts of 200-500/microl and > 500/microl. Based on nadir CD4+ T-cell counts, median HCV RNA levels (6.12 log10 IU/ml) in individuals with < 200/microl CD4+ T-cells were +0.06 and +0.44 log10 IU/ml higher than those with nadir T-cell counts of 200-500/microl and > 500/microl. Median HCV RNA levels were also significantly associated with HCV genotype: lower values were associated with genotype 4 and higher values with genotype 2, as compared with genotype 1. Additional significant predictors of lower HCV RNA levels were female gender and HIV transmission through male homosexual contacts. In multivariate analyses, only CD4+ T-cell counts and HCV genotype remained significant predictors of HCV RNA levels. Conclusions: Higher HCV RNA levels were associated with CD4+ T-cell depletion. This finding is in line with the crucial role of CD4+ T-cells in the control of HCV infection.