According to current guidelines, the universal use of direct-acting antiviral agents in HIV-positive patients with acute hepatitis C (AHC) is not recommended. We aimed to evaluate the concept of treatment intensification with boceprevir (BOC) in HIV-positive patients with HCV-genotype 1 AHC (HIV/AHC-GT1) at high risk for failure to pegylated interferon/ribavirin therapy (PEGIFN/RBV).
Nineteen consecutive HIV-positive patients with HIV/AHC-GT1 who underwent antiviral therapy were studied retrospectively.
Patients were treated with PEGIFN/RBV for 24 or 48 weeks, depending on rapid virologic response (RVR; undetectable HCV-RNA at treatment week [W] 4). Patients without complete early virologic response (cEVR; undetectable HCV-RNA at W 12) were offered treatment intensification with BOC at W 12, resulting in 36 weeks of BOC/PEGIFN/RBV triple therapy (total treatment duration: 48 weeks).
Thirty-seven percent (7/19) of patients had an RVR and 74 % (14/19) of patients had a cEVR. BOC was used in four out of five patients who did not achieve cEVR and one patient elected to proceed with PEGIFN/RBV.
Sustained virologic response (SVR; undetectable HCV-RNA 24 weeks after the end of treatment) rates were 100 % (14/14) among patients with cEVR treated with PEGIFN/RBV and 75 % (3/4) among patients without cEVR receiving BOC add-on. The patient without cEVR who preferred to continue with PEGIFN/RBV did not achieve SVR. Thus, the overall SVR rate was 89 % (17/19) in intention to treat analysis.
BOC add-on in selected HIV/AHC-GT1 resulted in a high overall SVR rate. If 2nd generation direct-acting antiviral agents (DAAs) are not available, treatment intensification with BOC can be considered in HIV/AHC-GT1 at high risk for failure to PEGIFN/RBV.