Spotlight Series on Hepatitis C

2014 HIV/Hepatitis C Coinfection Update

February 7, 2014


The Challenges of Traditional Treatment

The Challenges of Traditional Treatment

Although the effect of HIV coinfection on HCV disease progression increases the priority of HCV treatment, traditional HCV therapy -- peginterferon plus ribavirin -- has a notoriously brutal toxicity profile and a depressingly low rate of success in HIV-coinfected people.

"Interferon has an adverse effect on essentially every system in the body," Cox said. "This is particularly important in our HIV-infected individuals, because we tend to see a little bit more depression," as well as other complications including anemia, neutropenia, cytopenia, nausea, cardiovascular events and concurrent infections, she added.

In addition, historically, HIV care providers have found the question of when to refer a patient into HCV care a challenge, due to uncertainties around the timing of (and potential interactions with) HIV therapy and their awareness of HCV treatment's poor efficacy and tolerability, Cox noted.

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