Fewer people living with HIV and hepatitis C (HCV) who have a history of injecting drug use and unstable housing are on newer, more effective HCV medication, new research from France finds.

14 Aug 2018

The study is the first to assess the characteristics of people co-infected with HIV/HCV during two eras of HCV treatment: when medication consisting of pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN) and ribavirin was the standard of care, and when more effective, better tolerated and faster acting direct-acting antivirals (DAA) became available. As pharmaceutical companies continue to charge high prices for DAAs, many governments limit access to this medication.

Researchers aimed to compare the socio-behavioural characteristics of HIV/HCV co-infected patients initiating HCV treatment between the PEG-IFN and the DAA eras.

Researchers enrolled people co-infected with HIV/HCV between 2005 and 2016. During the study, health policy in France dictated that people with HCV were assessed for treatment on a case-by-case basis, although in May 2016 the government shifted its position to guarantee universal access to treatment.

France HIV HCV

A total of 580 patients were included in this analysis. Of these, 347 (60%) initiated PEG-IFN-based treatment, and 233 (40%) DAA-based treatment.

Those included in the first recruitment phase (2005 to 2008), during the PEG-IFN era, attended clinical visits either every six months if they had cirrhosis or every year if they did not. These participants also filled out annual socio-behavioural questionnaires. For people initiating HCV treatment, additional visits were scheduled, before, during and after the end of treatment. For those receiving DAA (from 2014 to 2015), clinical and biological data were collected at treatment initiation, at the end of treatment, and six months after the end of treatment, using medical questionnaires. Socio-behavioural questionnaires were filled out at treatment initiation and at the end of treatment.

See results and read full original story here

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