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Transmission of hepatitis C virus among HIV-positive homosexual men and response to a 24-week course of pegylated interferon and ribavirin.

Author(s): Gilleece YC, Browne RE, Asboe D, Atkins M, Mandalia S, Bower M, Gazzard BG, Nelson MR

Affiliation(s): St. Stephen's Centre, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London, UK.

Publication date & source: 2005-09-01, J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr., 40(1):41-6.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Randomized Controlled Trial

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate treatment outcome of acute hepatitis C virus (HCV) in HIV-positive individuals. DESIGN: Open-label, prospective study conducted in London, January 1997-December 2003. METHODS: Patients in whom acute HCV infection had been diagnosed had sequential HCV RNA levels measured at 0, 4, 12, 24, 32, and 48 weeks. If HCV RNA positive at 12 weeks, patients were offered pegylated interferon alpha-2b 1.5 microg/kg/wk and ribavirin 800-1200 mg/d for 24 weeks. Patients with increasing HCV RNA titers were offered treatment earlier. RESULTS: Fifty male homosexuals with a mean age 37 years were identified: 44 from abnormal liver function test results, 4 from sexual contact with an HCV-positive partner, and 2 at HIV seroconversion. Overall, 12 individuals became HCV RNA negative spontaneously. This was significantly associated with high baseline median CD4(+) count (P = 0.029), CD4(+) count >500 cells/mm(3) (P = 0.017), and lower HCV RNA titers (P = 0.017). Only 27 patients accepted treatment, 16 (59%) of whom reached sustained virologic response. This was associated with higher peak mean alanine aminotransferase (P < 0.001) and higher baseline CD4% (P = 0.041). CONCLUSIONS: Sustained virologic response rates in HIV-positive patients treated for acute HCV infection are lower than in HIV-negative subjects. Because a high percentage of individuals seroconvert spontaneously, treatment should be delayed until after 12 weeks.

Page last updated: 2006-01-31

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