Adding the new hepatitis C
virus (HCV) protease inhibitor simeprevir (formerly TMC435) to pegylated interferon and
ribavirin cures about three-quarters of HIV/HCV co-infected people, most of
them with a shortened course of therapy, researchers reported last week at the 20th Conference
on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI
2013) in Atlanta.
Direct-acting antiviral agents have brought
about a new era of treatment for chronic hepatitis C. While interferon-free
regimens are on the horizon, many patients have advancing liver disease and
cannot wait. Although HIV-positive people with hepatitis C experience more
rapid liver disease progression, they will have to wait longer for
interferon-free combos, as new agents are typically approved for HCV
mono-infected people first.