Roughly 20 percent to 30 percent of patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) are also infected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV). Both bloodborne viruses share the same modes of transmission, but many HCV medications currently have significant limitations due to adverse interactions with HIV treatments. Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report a new combination that effectively treats HCV in patients co-infected with HIV.
The study, published online in the New England Journal of Medicine, found the combination of HCV drugs daclatasvir and sofosbuvir -- both pills -- cured HCV in 97 percent of patients also infected with HIV.
"In many HCV/HIV co-infected patients, HCV therapies can have a strong interaction with HIV medications that complicate or potentially exclude them from HCV treatment," says David Wyles, MD, lead author of the study in the Division of Infectious Diseases. "This study is novel because it shows the new drug combination was not compromised when used with a wide range of HIV medications, increasing the number of HCV/HIV patients who can be treated without modifying their HIV medications."