Journal Article

Delivering Care to Injection Drug Users Coinfected with HIV and Hepatitis C Virus

Lynn E. Taylor

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 40, issue Supplement_5, pages S355-S361
Published in print April 2005 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online April 2005 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/427453
Delivering Care to Injection Drug Users Coinfected with HIV and Hepatitis C Virus

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Injection drug use has fueled the epidemic of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) coinfection in the United States. Nevertheless, drug dependence is among the main reasons that coinfected persons are not being treated for HCV infection. This report describes the development and progress of an HIV clinic program (funded by the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Act) to deliver care for HCV infection to HIV-seropositive injection drug users. To optimize safety and adherence, pegylated interferon is directly administered to patients in the context of integrated addiction, psychiatric, and HIV and HCV therapy. Ribavirin is packed weekly in pill boxes for patients to take at home. Thus far, adherence to weekly visits for treatment with interferon has been 99%. No one has had to stop treatment for HCV infection because of ongoing drug use, addiction relapse or exacerbation, or psychiatric complications. Presented here is a work in progress, rather than a finished research project or definitive model of care.

Journal Article.  4846 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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