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AIDS. 2004 Jan 2;18(1):67-73.

Pegylated interferon alpha2b plus ribavirin for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C in HIV-infected patients.

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  • 1Department of Infectious Diseases, Hospital Ramón y Cajal, Madrid, Spain.



Hepatitis C virus (HCV) and HIV coinfection constitutes an important epidemiological and clinical problem. We evaluated the safety and efficacy of Pegylated interferon alpha2b (Peg-IFN) and a fixed dose of ribavirin in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C in HIV coinfection.


Open, prospective study in HCV-HIV coinfected patients with persistently elevated alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels and a liver biopsy showing either portal or bridging fibrosis. Therapy included Peg-IFN (50 micro g weekly) with ribavirin 800 mg for 48 weeks. The primary end point was sustained virological response (SVR). Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to determine factors associated with response.


By intent-to-treat analysis, 11 of 35 patients (31%) reached SVR. SVR was significantly better for genotypes 2/3 than for genotype 1 (54% versus 21%; P < 0.05). By multivariate logistic regression analysis, only a non-1 genotype was an independent factor for SVR [odds ratio (OR), 6; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.1-31.7; P < 0.005]. A decrease of at least 1.5 log10 HCV RNA at week 12 of therapy was highly predictive of SVR (OR, 49.9; 95% CI, 4.9-508.2; P < 0.001). Most patients developed adverse events, although only six patients (17%) discontinued treatment due to toxicity.


The combination of low doses of Peg-IFN plus a fixed dose of ribavirin resulted in a rate of SVR similar to that obtained with higher doses of the drugs in HIV-infected patients and lower than those obtained in non-HIV patients. Response at week 12 may be useful to help guide therapy in HCV-HIV co-infected patients.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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