Treatment for hepatitis C is a major concern for injection drug users, who have largely been excluded from receiving therapy. The reasons for this exclusion are complex, and include health care systems that are poorly suited or downright inhospitable to meeting the needs of drug users, reluctance among physicians to treat a population they consider non-adherent, and concerns among drug users themselves about the nature of treatment and anxieties about the risk of side effects.
These issues will be taken up separately in future posts. The following recent articles provide some background on current and future hepatitis C treatment:
From amfAR Treatment Insider: Dim Outlook for Hepatitis C Treatment
(reviews research from the 2003 Liver Meeting, including management of side effects, particularly depression and anemia)
From TPAN's Positively Aware: Hepatitis C Co-Infection Review
(reviews new data on response to treatment in people co-infected with hepatitis C and HIV)
From aidsmap: Looking forward to 2004: treatment for hepatitis C
(brief review of new hepatitis C drugs in development)
From TAGline (co-written with Tracy Swan): Proliferation of Polymerase Inhibitors and Other Tales from the HCV Crypt
(longer review with some considerations for drug development)
See also the articles on hepatitis C treatment for injection drug users under the Advocacy link on the left.
Next week: new research on alcohol and hepatitis C.