Pegylated IFN-α2b plus ribavirin for treatment-naive patients coinfected with HCV and HIV

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Since 1995, after the generalization of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), HCV coinfection in patients with HIV has become a clinical problem of first magnitude. In fact, currently, HCV coinfection is the primary cause of morbi–mortality of AIDS patients in many hospitals. As a consequence, a significant number of clinical trials have been carried out during the past 8–10 years on HCV/HIV-coinfected patients, and have been coincident that the use of pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN) plus ribavirin should be now the gold standard for treating these patients. Various prospective, randomized studies have reached the conclusion that PEG-IFN-α2b plus ribavirin achieves HCV cure rates in approximately 50% of all patients, together with important clinical consequences, since hepatic illness progression stops or even reverts. Although adverse events are extremely common with this combined treatment, it is also true that their handling by experts means that only 10–15% of patients must abandon treatment.

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