September 2013 : Combo of Two HIV Drugs Can Control Hep B - by Benjamin Ryan

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Features

Older and Wiser

Mandating Mail-Order Pharmacies

From the Editor

Touch of Gray

Feedback

Letters-September 2013

The POZ Q+A

Committed to the Fight

POZ Planet

Lost Worlds

We the LGBTHIV...

Testing the Limits

Say What-Dan Savage

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Try the Power of Bareback and Body

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Light and Darkness

Care and Treatment

GMHC Treatment Issues September 2013

Caring Docs Retain Patients

Breaking the Blood-Brain Barrier

HIV Capsid Structure Defined

Found: Those Lost to Follow-up

Combo of Two HIV Drugs Can Control Hep B

Research Notes

Prevention: Repurposing Vaginal Gel for Rectal Use

Treatment: Pot--the Next HIV Drug?

Cure: Misleading Reports Say Cure Is Near

Concerns: Another Vaccine Trial Shuts Down

POZ Survey Says

Ourselves, Growing Older

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Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle

Shingles

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Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV


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September 2013

Combo of Two HIV Drugs Can Control Hep B

by Benjamin Ryan

The HIV antiretrovirals Viread (tenofovir) and Emtriva (emtricitabine), which are typically combined as Truvada, can suppress hepatitis B virus (HBV) in three-quarters of those with “immune-tolerant” infection. This is a stage of the disease during which treatment usually isn’t recommended, but which may represent an important window of opportunity for preventing both liver cancer and transmission of the virus.

Participants in the study had a 76 percent viral suppression rate after four years on Viread and Emtriva, which was a significantly greater rate than the 55 percent who achieved viral suppression by taking Viread by itself. However, only a few participants became “immune-active”—indicating they had the robust immune response needed to force the infection into an inactive chronic carrier state. Furthermore, those who stopped treatment saw their viral load rebound.

Hailing this as a “very important study,” Fabien Zoulim, MD, PhD, of Hôtel Dieu Hospital in Lyons, France, who was not involved in the research, notes, “Not all patients achieved viral suppression during the trial. It is therefore important to understand why—Insufficient antiviral potency? Antiviral drug resistance?—and what were the predictive factors for this failure.”

According to Zoulim, more research is needed to understand whether Truvada can indeed prevent or delay liver cancer. Note: Truvada is not FDA approved for use in people with hep B; however, physicians may still prescribe it off-label.

Search: Viread, tenofovir, Emtriva, emtrictabine, Truvada, hepatitis B, Hotel Dieu Hospital, Lyons, France

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