The HIV antiretroviral Viread (tenofovir) is highly effective in combating both HIV and hepatitis B virus (HBV) among those coinfected with both viruses, aidsmap reports. Publishing their findings in PLOS ONE, researchers from the University College London performed a meta-analysis of 23 studies, most of them observational, that examined the treatment outcomes of HIV/HBV coinfected people receiving Viread. The follow-up period spanned as long as seven years, however the researchers narrowed their analysis to three years to ensure greater statistical weight to their conclusions.

Fifty-seven percent of the study participants achieved fully suppressed hep B after one year of treatment. This figure increased to 79 percent at two years and 86 percent at the three-year mark. Virological rebound occurred in just 2.4 percent of cases.

There was no apparent benefit in adding Epivir (lamivudine) or Emtriva (emtricitabine) to Viread.

The analysis was limited by the fact that it mostly looked at observational studies, which carry less significant scientific conclusions, in part because they are not designed by a process of randomization. Also, there was insufficient data on the participants who dropped out of the studies, and the analysis did not examine side effects. Generally safe and well tolerated, Viread can lead to bone loss and kidney problems in those who are at risk for such health problems.

To read the aidsmap story, click here.

To read the study, click here.