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Hepatitis and HIV CoinfectionHepatitis and HIV Coinfection
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Non or late resopnder
Apr 15, 2007

I have HCV type 1b, with compenstated cirrhosis. I am 8 weeks from ending treatment with peginteron and ribasphere. I still showed virus at week 21 (11.800) so I,m not sure if I have cleared at this time. My Dr will do another lab after treatment is finished. I have read that some Dr's are extending treatment for people like myself to 72 weeks. Is there any research that calims this is efective. The info I am finding is conflicting.

Response from Dr. McGovern

I would strongly advise further therapy if you are tolerating it. You have cirrhosis so it is important to try to attain cure.

We have also treated for a longer duration in people who have cleared virus slower than others. We have based that approach on a meta-analysis by Drusano and colleagues (published in Journal of Infectious Diseases) which analyzed patients who had a treatment response on interferon and ribavirin. They then separated those who relapsed off treatment and those who had a sustained virologic response. The main difference between the two groups was the amount of time "without virus". If patients had 36 weeks without virus, their chance of an SVR was over 90%.

Therefore, we have also adopted this approach as well in patients who are definitely responding to treatment, but may be clearing slower. I would treat you for 36 weeks from the time you have obtained a non-detectable viral load. This is obviously extremely dependent on how well you have tolerated therapy.

Best of luck to you with your therapy.

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