JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Management of hepatitis C virus/HIV coinfection among people who use drugs in the era of direct-acting antiviral-based therapy

Lynn E Taylor, Tracy Swan, Gail V Matthews
Clinical Infectious Diseases: An Official Publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America 2013, 57 Suppl 2: S118-24
23884059
Where active antiretroviral therapy (ART) is accessible, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a survivable illness and effective ART can reduce HIV transmission. Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) has emerged as a threat to the survival of individuals harboring both HCV and HIV, due to high prevalence and aggressive disease course. The HCV/HIV coinfection epidemic has been driven by people who inject drugs (PWID), although incident HCV is rising among HIV-infected men who have sex with men in the absence of drug injection. Coinfected individuals warrant aggressive treatment of both viruses; although early ART initiation is recommended to reduce the rate of liver disease progression, the most effective way to decrease HCV-related morbidity and mortality in coinfection is to achieve HCV viral eradication. Direct-acting antiviral (DAA) agents will soon revolutionize HCV treatment. Clinical data are needed regarding the efficacy of DAAs in coinfected PWID. Drug-drug interaction studies between ART, DAAs, and opiate substitution therapy must be expedited. Coinfected PWID should have equitable and universal access to HIV/AIDS, HCV, and addiction prevention, care, and treatment. Essential basic steps include improving screening for both infections and engaging coinfected PWID in HIV and HCV care early after diagnoses. Developing strategies to expand access to HCV therapy for coinfected PWID is imperative to stem the HCV epidemic and limit the morbidity and mortality of those at greatest risk for HCV disease progression. The ultimate goal must be the elimination of HCV from all coinfected PWID.

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