September 19, 2014
IFARA spoke with Mark Sulkowski, M.D., the medical director of the Viral Hepatitis Center at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, about new research on hepatitis diagnoses and treatment. As HIV treatment allows people to live longer, liver disease due to chronic hepatitis C (HCV) is becoming increasingly common, Sulkowski said. At the Johns Hopkins HIV clinic, for example, about 50% of patients are coinfected with HIV and HCV. He listed the use of blood markers (alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase levels, platelet count) instead of biopsies to calculate liver damage and the development of all-oral HCV treatment regimens as the most exciting developments in that area.
Two studies, in particular, are promising, Sulkowski believes. The TURQUOISE-I study used a well-tolerated regimen of three different HCV medications in patients with well-controlled HIV and showed an overall response rate of more than 93% after three to six months, with similar results in those infected with HCV only. The PHOTON-2 trial dispensed a regimen of sofosbuvir (Sovaldi) and ribavirin in Europe and Australia, with an HCV cure rate of over 85% after 12 to 24 weeks. With the availability of these regimens the real issues now become drug interactions between HIV and HCV medications and connecting people to treatment, Sulkowski argued.
Watch the video to learn more:
The video above has been posted on TheBodyPRO.com with permission from our partners at the International Foundation for Alternative Research in AIDS (IFARA). Visit IFARA's website or YouTube channel to watch more video interviews from the conference, as well as earlier meetings.
Barbara Jungwirth is a freelance writer and translator based in New York.
Follow Barbara on Twitter: @reliabletran.
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