February 7, 2014
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.
Myles Helfand is the editorial director of TheBody.com and TheBodyPRO.com.
Follow Myles on Twitter: @MylesatTheBody.
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