More research has affirmed that direct-acting antiviral (DAA) treatment for hepatitis C virus (HCV) has a high efficacy rate among those coinfected with HIV, Healio reports.

Publishing their findings in Open Forum Infectious Diseases, researchers conducted a retrospective cohort analysis of 784 people with HIV who received treatment with DAAs at various sites in Spain, Italy and the United States. The study authors collected data on the cohort members regarding their use of drugs, alcohol abuse, mental health and housing status.

The cohort members were treated for HCV between January 2014 and December 2017. Ninety-three percent achieved a sustained virologic response 12 weeks after completing therapy (SVR12, considered a cure).

Of the 7 percent who were not cured of HCV (known as treatment failure), 50.9 percent stopped DAA treatment early, died or were lost to follow-up. A total of 47.3 percent experienced a rebound of their hep C after finishing treatment, known as virologic failure. One person who was cured later contracted the virus again.

Current drug users and those with mental illness were a respective 2.6-fold and 2.85-fold more likely to experience treatment failure. Those who both used drugs and had a mental illness were 7.47-fold more likely to experience treatment failure. The presence of both factors explained 20 percent of the overall risk of treatment failure in the cohort.

Ongoing drug use and advanced liver fibrosis were associated with a respective 2.75-fold and 2.29-fold increased risk of virologic failure.

The study authors concluded that among the HIV/HCV-coinfected population that receives DAA treatment, those who use drugs, have a mental illness or have advanced fibrosis may have a mitigated risk of treatment failure if they receive enhanced treatment support.

To read the Healio article, click here.

To read the study abstract, click here.