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Why Are Some Veterans Who Are Coinfected With Hepatitis C and HIV More Likely to Be Treated for HCV Than Others?
Date:10/28/2008

Research to be presented Sunday, November 2, 2008 at this year's liver

meeting in San Francisco, California, October 31 - November 4

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Researchers from the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, led by Jennifer Kramer, Ph.D., looked at a population of U.S. veterans to determine the patient, provider, and facility characteristics that determined how likely after diagnosis for hepatitis C virus patients who have HIV are treated for HCV. This retrospective study used the Hepatitis C Clinical Case Registry to identify patients who had both infections and who had visited a VA facility at least twice in a six-year period. "This is a very large cohort (N=7,103) of patients with laboratory confirmed HCV-HIV coinfection (maybe one of the largest ever examined) that is very representative of VA users," said Dr. Kramer, but she cautions, "It is difficult to draw conclusions to all patients with HCV-HIV coinfection because the VA cohort tends to be predominately male and relatively low income."

Of those patients in the registry who had HCV and HIV, 10.3% were treated within two years of HCV diagnosis. The researchers went on to identify the factors that resulted in treatment for those patients. Race was a patient factor that determined who was more likely to be treated for HCV. Patients who were black or Hispanic were not as likely to be treated as compared to white patients after HCV diagnosis. Other determining factors were sex (males weren't as likely to be treated as females), drug use, psychosis, high HIV viral load, and genotype 1 or 4. Patients were more likely to be treated if they were diagnosed with HCV more recently; were also diagnosed with cirrhosis; and had high CD4 counts, hemoglobin, and persistently high liver enzyme scores.

The study's authors also identified provider and facility characteristics that determined if a patient who also had HIV was treated for HCV. Patients were more likely t
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SOURCE American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases
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