The final statement from the 1st European Consensus Conference on the Treatment of Chronic Hepatitis B and C in HIV Co-infected Patients, includes a definitive recommendation that HIV patients co-infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) should be treated with Pegylated Interferon combination therapy.
Following the approval from the European Commission in February, Pegylated Interferon alpha-2a ( Pegasys ) in combination with Ribavirin, is now the only Pegylated Interferon which can be used in accordance with these new guidelines to treat HIV-HCV co-infected patients.
The reccomendation is based on the results of APRICOT Study ( AIDS Pegasys Ribavirin International CO-infection Trial ).
The APRICOT trial enrolled a total of 868 HCV-HIV co-infected patients in 19 countries.
All patients were HCV positive, a CD4+ count greater than 100 cells/mL, and stable HIV disease, with or without antiretroviral therapy.
Patients were randomized to 48 weeks of treatment with Interferon three times a week plus 800 mg/day of Ribavirin ( Copegus ), 180 mcg of PegInterferon alpha-2a ( Pegasys ) once weekly plus placebo, or 180 mcg of Pegasys once weekly with 800 mg/day of Copegus.
Pegasys combination therapy produced an overall sustained virological response ( SVR ) rate of 40 percent among co-infected patients.
When analyzed by genotype, the investigators reported 62 percent efficacy in patients with genotypes 2 and 3, and 29 percent in those with genotype 1, which is the most difficult form of the disease to treat successfully.
Source: 1st European Consensus Conference on the Treatment of Chronic Hepatitis B and C in HIV Co-infected Patients, 2005