PRESS RELEASE - 1 in 20 HIV-infected patients in care have chronic hepatitis C infection

15 November 2013

Stichting HIV Monitoring optimistic about future new treatment combinations

Stichting HIV Monitoring reports that 1 in 20 HIV-infected patients in care in the Netherlands are currently chronically infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) and at more risk of developing chronic liver disease and liver cancer.

The uptake of traditionally available HCV treatment has markedly increased in recent years. However, those treatments are associated with many side effects and less than optimal efficacy. As a result, a substantial number of patients in care co-infected with HIV and HCV either remain untreated or have not yet been successfully treated for HCV.

Two new treatment compounds were introduced early in 2012. When added to the existing treatment regimen these compounds showed improved but still suboptimal cure rates for HCV. Furthermore, their use remains limited because of significant side effects.

Many newer treatment combinations with a high potential to cure HCV infection and very limited side effects are currently being developed and their availability for clinical use is eagerly awaited. It is hoped that these novel treatments will have a further major impact on reducing the burden of chronic liver disease, liver cancer, and liver-related deaths amongst people living with HIV.

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