April 14, 2016
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VIDEO: Coinfection with HIV, HCV impacts access to antiviral treatment

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The direct-acting antivirals for hepatitis C virus represent an advance in the treatment of individuals coinfected with hepatitis C virus and HIV, but access to these antivirals can sometimes be a challenge, according to Stacey Trooskin, MD, PhD, of Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia.

Trooskin reviews the complications associated with HIV-HCV coinfection, including an increased likelihood of end-stage liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma, and the progress that has been achieved with direct-acting antivirals for HCV.

However, access to the direct-acting antivirals can be complicated by a number of factors, according to Trooskin. She reviews these potential restrictions and encourages physicians to fully investigate the issues, as patients who are coinfected with HIV and HCV may obtain access to the medications more easily.

“The [direct-acting antivirals] have very little side effects,” Trooskin said. “It’s really amazing, as an HIV provider, to actually be able to cure one of their viruses.”