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Il-2+HIV meds; With My HIV Viral Load Under Control, Can I Take HCV Therapy Without HIV HAART TherapyC?

Hi Doctor and thanks for any insight you may provide.

After many many years of antiviral treatment, my viral load is starting to go up. It has been undetable for many years. So my doctor wants me to change regimes. I have done il-2 rounds but it has been a year and 1/2 since last round because I did a year of amgen interferon (15mcg for 5 months and then 12 mcg. for 6 months + ribavirin of 1000mg for 5 month and then 800 mg for 6 months). After 3 months of this treatment my hep c (1a) viral load was nondetectable but by month 11 it returned (talk about disappointment)! I have been off int/rib since April and obviously it was helping my hiv viral load as well. I want to go off all antivirals (incidently, my liver enzymes have been going up too) due to sides I feel are being caused by meds (have been on antiviral for about 12 years-my poor liver!).

As of last test my cd4s are 650 and vl is 1400 hiv-rna, copies/ml. The new Dept oh Health and Human Services (DHHS) Guidelines suggest holding off treatment until they drop below this. My crazy idea is to do this: do rounds of il-2 and be on antivirals during this time but then go off meds and then go back on to peg interferon and ribavirin treatment. The interferon will help not only with the hep c but with the hiv as well (I am supposing). And from what I have heard, the sides from peg are not nearly as bad as daily shots. Is there any merit to this type of protocol I am suggessting or do you think it has not been studied well enough. And even if it is tolerable. As of now, I just am pretty burned out from hiv meds.

Thanks for your help in this situation.


Dr.Chung writes--

I think that your hiv is sufficiently under control to consider antiviral treatment for HCV with PEG and ribavirin. Your ability to tolerate subsequent antiretrovirals may be improved with a successful response to the former. RC Ask our Experts All Questions