Hepatitis C Virus Treatment Decision-Making in the Context of HIV Co-Infection

The Role of Medical, Behavioral and Mental Health Factors in Assessing Treatment Readiness

Published in: AIDS, v. 19, suppl. 3, Oct. 2005, p. S190-S198

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2005

by Glenn Wagner, Gery W. Ryan

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Hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related liver disease is among the leading causes of mortality among HIV patients, yet very few co-infected patients receive pegylated-interferon and ribavirin combination therapy, the standard of care for chronic HCV. Whereas factors related to the provider, patient and clinic setting all contribute to HCV treatment decision-making, the decision of the provider to recommend or defer treatment is perhaps the most critical determinant of whether a patient receives treatment. This paper reviews the literature related to the medical, behavioral and mental health variables that contribute to providers' assessment of treatment readiness, and associations with treatment response, adherence and retention. A greater understanding of the multilevel factors contributing to HCV treatment decision-making, as well as patient characteristics that predict treatment outcome and adherence, can inform the development of interventions aimed at improving HCV care for HIV patients.

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