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Hepatitis Coinfection: Two Major Studies Published

August 23, 2004

Two large clinical trials on treating hepatitis C in patients also infected with HIV1,2 were published July 29, 2004, in the New England Journal of Medicine. The results were already known because they had been presented at the 2004 Retroviruses conference (abstracts #110 and #112). The new publication provides much more detail -- and more credibility when it is necessary to advocate for payment from insurance companies or public agencies (including prisons) for patients with HIV who need treatment for hepatitis C (many who have hepatitis C do not need treatment, at least not immediately). Often two articles in peer-reviewed journals are demanded by payers to establish that a treatment is standard of care (meaning that refusing to consider it is probably malpractice). Now we have the two articles -- in the medical journal usually considered the most prestigious in the U.S.

An August 4 summary by AIDS writer Liz Highleyman, "Final APRICOT and ACTG 5071 HIV/HCV Coinfection Results Published," is available at Aidsmap, www.aidsmap.com (try searching for APRICOT, and click on the "Final APRICOT ..." paper). This is a place to start for understanding these trials and what they mean for treatment of hepatitis C.

An editorial in the Perspective section of the same issue of New England Journal of Medicine, "Treating Hepatitis C in 'Difficult-to-Treat' Patients" includes important background about the disease, causes of treatment failures, and prospects for major improvement in hepatitis C treatment over the next five to ten years. The text of this editorial is available at www.natap.org/2004/HCV/072904_01.htm.

The abstracts of the two studies are available at http://content.nejm.org/content/vol351/issue5/index.shtml.

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References

  1. Torriani FJ, Rodriguez-Torres M, Rockstroh JK, and others. Peginterferon Alfa-2a plus Ribavirin for Chronic Hepatitis C Virus Infection in HIV-Infected Patients. New England Journal of Medicine. July 29, 2004; volume 351, number 5, pages 438-450. [This is the APRICOT study.]

  2. Chung RT, Andersen J, Volberding P, and others. Peginterferon Alfa-2a plus Ribavirin versus Interferon Alfa-2a plus Ribavirfin for Chronic Hepatitis C in HIV-Coinfected Persons. New England Journal of Medicine. July 29, 2004; volume 351, number 5, pages 451-459. [This is the ACTG A5071 study.]


ISSN # 1052-4207

Copyright 2004 by John S. James. Permission granted for noncommercial reproduction, provided that our address and phone number are included if more than short quotations are used.




  
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This article was provided by AIDS Treatment News. It is a part of the publication AIDS Treatment News.
 

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