New drug combination treats HIV and hepatitis C patients

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Researchers at the University of California's San Diego School of Medicine recently discovered that combining daclatasvir and sofosbuvir to treat hepatitis C (HCV) patients who also have the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) was effective 97 percent of the time.

Between 20 percent to 30 percent of patients who have HCV also have HIV infections, which severely limits hepatitis medications because of how these treatments interact with treatments for HIV.

"In many HCV/HIV co-infected patients, HCV therapies can have a strong interaction with HIV medications that complicate or potentially exclude them from HCV treatment," Dr. David Wyles, lead author of the study, said. "This study is novel because it shows the new drug combination was not compromised when used with a wide range of HIV medications, increasing the number of HCV/HIV patients who can be treated without modifying their HIV medications."

With liver disease the leading cause of death among HIV patients, treating co-infected patients is a high priority, Wyles said.

"These findings are very exciting in the infectious diseases world, as they could help an entire demographic that has historically struggled finally receive successful treatment for HCV," Wyles, who is an associate professor of medicine at the university, said.

Further details are available on the New England Journal of Medicine's website. 

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University of California, San Diego

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