Almost all of large group of individuals coinfected with HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) were cured of hep C in an inner-city Baltimore cohort, showing the potential for treatment success in a traditionally challenging population, Healio reports.

Publishing their findings in the journal Hepatology, from February 2014 to March 2016, researchers studied data on 255 HIV/HCV-coinfected individuals enrolled in the Johns Hopkins HIV or HIV/HCV clinical cohort studies.

The median age of the cohort members was 43, with a range of 38 to 50 years old. Seventy-three percent were men and 88 percent were Black. Fifty-seven percent reported a psychiatric diagnosis, and 73 percent had a history of illicit drug use. Ninety-seven percent were on antiretroviral (ARV) treatment for HIV.

There were additional behavioral data available for 179 members of the study group. Eighty-nine percent reported good to excellent adherence to their ARVs; 86 percent said they had not missed any doses. Thirty percent reported actively using alcohol, 7 percent reported hazardous levels of alcohol use, 14 percent reported marijuana use, 8 percent reported cocaine use and 6 percent reported heroin use.

Out of the 255 members of the study group, 246 (96.5 percent) achieved a sustained virologic response 12 weeks after completing therapy (SVR12, considered a cure).

A total of 97.7 percent of those with a fully suppressed HIV viral load were cured of HCV, compared with 87.9 percent of those with a detectable HIV viral load. Those who switched their ARV regimen before starting HCV treatment were cured at a rate of 92.3 percent, compared with 98.3 percent among those who did not switch ARVs.

To read the Healio article, click here.

To read the study abstract, click here.