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Slower progression?
Jul 21, 2005

Hi, you've stated that with treatment using pegylated interferon and ribavirin, even though there is relapse and virus is still present, may help in reducing the progression of Hep C? Is this true? Could this be true even in the presence of HIV coinfection, if the HIV is undetectable with antiretorival meds? Please answer. Thank you.

Response from Dr. McGovern

There are several studies showing that the liver becomes healthier after interferon therapy. This is even true in many patients who don't respond virologically to the treatment (ie they still have virus).

This has even been shown with HIV/HCV coinfected patients.

What we don't know yet is whether this treatment will slow progression of disease in years to come. However, one study by DiMartino did show that treatment with interferon was protective in terms of progression of disease.

We will know more in a few years with the results of a few major "maintenance therapy" trials in HCV monoinfection.

Dr. McGovern



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