MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Shyamasundaran Kottilil MBBS, PhD
Division of Infectious Diseases, Institute of Human Virology, University of Maryland, Baltimore
Laboratory of Immunoregulation, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland
Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. Kottilil: Due to shared routes of transmission, almost half of all HIV-infected patients also have HCV infection. Traditionally, interferon based therapies have resulted in lower cure rates of HCV in HIV-infected subjects. Treatment for HCV is rapidly changing from an injection (interferon) based therapy to oral well tolerated pill based therapy for a shorter duration.Our intention was to test whether a treatment regimen without the use of interferon and ribavirin can be effective in HIV/HCV infected patients.
Our study demonstrated that HIV/HCV connected patients without cirrhosis can be effectively treated with ledipasvir and sofosbuvir in 12 weeks. Overall 98% of patients were cured.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Kottilil: Clinicians should actively discuss treatment options for HCV for HIV infected subjects and initiate treatment in patients who are ready for HCV therapy.
Patients should realize that a treatment regimen without the use of Interferon and ribavirin is available to cure HCV in HIV/HCV co-infected patients. They should discuss this with their doctors about the need for immediate versus delayed treatment for HCV.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Kottilil: The study has two major limitations. We did not study cirrhotic (advanced liver fibrosis) patients and enrolled patients only on select anti-HIV medications. More studies will have to be performed to address the safety and efficacy of HCV medications in patients with liver cirrhosis and those who are receiving other HIV medications not included in this study. The latter point is important as there are commonly prescribed ARV regimens that were not evaluated in this study.
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Shyamasundaran Kottilil MBBS, PhD (2015). Oral Medication For Hepatitis C- HIV Combined Infection