We have conducted an open, prospective trial to assess the safety and efficacy of interferon alfa-2b and ribavirin in combination for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected hemophiliacs. Twenty hemophiliacs coinfected with HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV), 18 of them under highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), with a mean CD4+ cell count of 490 ± 176 cells/mm3 and undetectable (n = 9) or low-level HIV RNA (< 10, 000 copies/mL; n = 11), were treated with interferon-alfa2b (3 MU thrice weekly) and ribavirin (800 mg/d) for 6 or 12 months according to virologic response. Patients were monitored for tolerance and response at 4, 8, 12, 24, 36, and 48 weeks during treatment and every other month thereafter. All 20 patients enrolled completed at least 6 months of treatment with no major side effect requiring treatment withdrawal, dose reduction, or modification of HAART. Overall, 8 patients (40%) achieved a sustained virologic response at the end of the 6-month post-treatment follow-up. Sustained responders had lower baseline HCV-RNA levels (5.7 ± 0.8 vs. 6.3 ± 0.4 log10 IU/mL, P =. 041) but were otherwise similar to nonresponders. All sustained responders had a decrease in HCV-RNA level of at least 1 log per month during the first 2 months and undetectable levels at 6 months. In conclusion, our results provide evidence that combination therapy with interferon and ribavirin is safe in HIV-infected hemophiliacs with stable CD4 cell count and undetectable or low-level HIV replication, and leads to eradication of HCV in 40% of these patients.
Sauleda, S., Juárez, A., Esteban, J. I., Altisent, C., Puig, L., Esteban, R., Guardia, J., & Ruiz Camps, M. I. (2001). Interferon and ribavirin combination therapy for chronic hepatitis C in human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients with congenital coagulation disorders. Hepatology, 34, 1035-1040. https://doi.org/10.1053/jhep.2001.29130