Twice-weekly pegylated interferon-α-2a and ribavirin results in superior viral kinetics in HIV/hepatitis C virus co-infected patients compared to standard therapy

LIR, NIAID, NIH, DHHS, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.
AIDS (London, England) (Impact Factor: 5.55). 06/2011; 25(9):1179-87. DOI: 10.1097/QAD.0b013e3283471d53
Source: PubMed


Hepatitis C virus (HCV)/HIV co-infected patients have more rapid progression of liver fibrosis and only modest cure rates (sustained virologic responses, SVRs) when compared to HCV monoinfected patients.
We compared the virologic responses of either twice-weekly peginterferon-α-2a 180 μg/week (for 4 weeks, followed by weekly dosing) or weekly peginterferon-α-2a 180 μg/week, and weight-based ribavirin (1-1.2 g/day), among HIV/HCV co-infected genotype-1 individuals.
Patients receiving the investigational dosing had lower levels of HCV RNA at all time points after initiation of therapy. More patients on this arm achieved clinically relevant early virological responses at weeks 1, 2, 4, 12, and 24. The enhanced early virologic response observed with the investigational arm was associated with a higher induction of interferon-stimulated genes. This early double dose regimen also resulted in a rapid normalization of liver enzymes. Twice-weekly peginterferon-α-2a was associated with more frequent early virological responses with similar safety profiles when compared with standard therapy.
Our results, when confirmed in larger randomized clinical trials, may provide a novel therapeutic approach to improve SVR among HIV/HCV co-infected patients, especially African-American patients.

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