It is not uncommon for a person infected with HIV to also have a co-infection with the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Treatments for each infection are usually necessary. Ongoing research hopes to bring to light how to best treat each condition and keep the disease from progressing. Two recent studies presented conclusions that differed when it came to the effectiveness of certain treatments aimed at HCV.

Reports on Treating Co-Infection

The first report showed that when a person has both infections, HIV can slow the elimination or control of the hepatitis C infection. Those with only the HCV could be successfully treated, or at least lower the amount of the virus in the body after only a few months. When examining those with a co-infection of HIV, the results were different. In these patients, the HCV held on for a long period of time. This leads some to conclude that when both viruses are present, a new approach to treatment may be in order.

However, another recent study came up with different conclusions. This second study suggests that specific types of treatment can eliminate the need to worry about interference from the second infection. In the research done here, those with a co-infection of HIV and HCV were successfully treated for HCV. The specific pharmaceuticals used seemed as effective for those who had HIV as those who did not. The numbers for those with co-infections were similar to those with just the one. Different drugs were used in this study than in the other, so that may explain some of the discrepancies.

In conclusion, more information is needed. Current treatments for HCV do work; they may simply need some tweaking when HIV is present. When treating patients with both conditions, physicians do well to closely track progress and evaluate the effectiveness of such treatments. Adapting to a patient’s needs could go a long way in helping to eliminate the infection. In the meantime, researchers are working to resolve the issues brought to light. The results of the two studies do highlight the importance of finding answers in an effort to help more people.