PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To examine recent developments in the management of HIV/hepatitis C virus-coinfected patients who relapsed or who responded poorly to initial therapy, with particular emphasis on peginterferon plus ribavirin. RECENT FINDINGS: End-stage liver disease is the first cause of non-AIDS-related mortality in patients on antiretroviral therapy. A pool analysis of recent studies suggested that only 33% of HIV/hepatitis C virus-coinfected patients will achieve sustained virological response with peginterferon plus ribavirin. A substudy of the APRICOT trial shows that this strategy will benefit liver histology even in non-responding patients. The management of side effects is important and, according to a recent study, erythropoietin can improve clinical outcomes of hepatitis C virus therapy, although no direct association between response and the control of haematological toxicity was demonstrated. Patients who did not clear hepatitis C virus RNA with a slow virological response to previous courses of peginterferon and ribavirin might benefit from prolonging therapy to up to 72 weeks. SUMMARY: Re-treatment strategies in non-responders to previous interferon-based therapies and relapsers should consider the previous virological response profile and ensure that treatment-related toxicity is controlled to avoid dose reductions or premature treatment interruptions. Further studies are needed to optimize therapeutic regimens. © 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
- Hepatitis C virus coinfection
- Sustained virological response