February 7, 2014
The HCV Treatment Cascade
Between the significant liabilities of traditional therapy and the significant shortfalls of common monitoring techniques, it is perhaps unsurprising that clinical rates of HCV treatment success in HIV-coinfected patients are often miserably low. Cox pointed to a 2006 study of 845 patients receiving regular HIV care via the Johns Hopkins HIV clinic around the turn of the century -- a study that found only 6 of the 845 actually achieved a sustained virologic response on HCV therapy.
What makes these numbers particularly alarming is that they may not even be an extreme example. "Those data come from a clinic where people are more than a little in tune to the need to treat hepatitis C," Cox said. "It's probably worse in other clinics."
Cox added that the challenges of real-world HCV treatment success are not unique to the HIV-coinfected population. "In a VA [U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs] study of about 100,000 patients with hep C, regardless of HIV or not, only about 2 and half percent were cured of their hepatitis C," she said.
Myles Helfand is the editorial director of TheBody.com and TheBodyPRO.com.
Follow Myles on Twitter: @MylesatTheBody.
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