Author(s): Tossing G
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Abstract Though AIDS-related morbidity and mortality are generally decreasing as a result of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) and prevention of opportunistic infections, dual infection with HCV and HIV leads to an acceleration in the natural course of chronic hepatitis C (cHC) and worsening of associated liver disease and complications. Mortality from co-morbid HCV infection within this population is increasing and has become a major challenge in the management of HIV-related complications. As treatment strategies to fight cHC have been essentially ameliorated within the recent two years in using pegylated interferon-alfa2b (Peg-IFN-alfa2b) combined with ribavirin, t here is hope that the successful therapeutic outcomes in HCV-mono-infected individuals may be partly translated into benefits for the difficult-to-treat patients with HCV-HIV co-infection. A number of issues arise when beginning HCV treatment during HAART, as for instance possible interactions with antiretroviral therapies, increased risk of special side effects, and a compromise in adherence due to the addition of new medication in patients already taking several drugs. On the other hand there is also the chance that Peg-IFN-alfa2b fights HIV as well as HCV. First data of pre-load therapy with Peg-IFN-alfa2b in treatment-na ve HIV-positive individuals before the initiation of HAART have also been presented during the 8th European Conference on Clinical Aspects and Treatment of HIV Infection (8th ECCATH), October 2001 in Athens.
This article was published in Eur J Med Res
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology