Hepatitis C May Interfere With HIV Treatment Response
The presence of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection may interfere with early response to antiretroviral therapy (ART) for human immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV) in coinfected women, a recent study found.
From 2000 to 2015, the researchers evaluated 441 women with HIV who were enrolled in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study. Of these women, 114 had chronic HCV initiation prior to starting ART.
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Measurements of HIV RNA were recorded every 6 months. The proportion of study visits with detectable HIV RNA in women with and without HCV were compared via log-binomial regression models. Within-person correlation due to repeated HIV RNA measurements was noted.
Findings demonstrated a similar overall proportion of visits with detectable HIV RNA in women with and without chronic HCV (relative risk [RR] 1.19). However, by 6 months, the proportion of visits with detectable HIV RNA in women with HCV was 1.88-fold higher than in women without HCV. At 2 years, this ratio was 1.60, and at 6 years, there was no difference between women with and without HCV (1.03).
“Chronic HCV may negatively impact early HIV viral response to ART,” the researchers concluded. “These findings reaffirm the need to test persons with HIV for HCV infection, and increase engagement in HIV care and access to HCV treatment among persons with HIV/HCV-coinfection.”
Willis SJ, Cole SR, Westreich D, et al. Chronic hepatitis C virus infection and subsequent HIV viral load among women with HIV initiating antiretroviral therapy [Published online January 13, 2018]. AIDS. doi:10.1097/QAD.0000000000001745.