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Hepatitis C cured in co-infected HIV patients
Date:7/19/2014

A multicenter team of researchers report that in a phase III clinical trial, a combination drug therapy cures chronic hepatitis C in the majority of patients co-infected with both HIV and hepatitis C.

"In many settings, hepatitis C is now a leading cause of death among HIV co-infected patients," says Mark Sulkowski, M.D., medical director of the Johns Hopkins Infectious Disease Center for Viral Hepatitis and professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Approximately one-third of HIV patients in the United States have hepatitis C, with an estimated 7 million co-infected patients worldwide.

Because of poor tolerability to the previous standard of treatments for hepatitis C, including injections of interferon-alpha and medications that can have interactions with anti-retroviral medications used to treat HIV, this population of co-infection patients has been considered difficult to treat. Data from this phase III clinical trial were incorporated into the FDA's approval of the new drug, sofosbuvir, last December, so treatment with this all-oral regimen sofosbuvir and ribavirin is considered on-label.

The trial, paid for by the developers of sofosbuvir, Gilead Sciences, is published in the July 23 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association.

Researchers and doctors enrolled study participants from the United States and Puerto Rico through 34 academic, private practice and community health centers. In total, doctors administered sofosbuvir and ribavirin to a total of 223 HIV-1 patients chronically co-infected with hepatitis C (genotypes 1, 2 or 3) either for 12 weeks (for treatment-naive patients with genotype 2 or 3) or for 24 weeks (for treatment-naive patents with genotype 1 or treatment-experienced patents with genotype 2 or 3). Twelve weeks after treatment ended, researchers tested patients again for hepatitis C infection to determine if treatment was effective.

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Contact: Lauren Nelson
lnelso35@jhmi.edu
410-955-8725
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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