Edge on the Net (01.14.2014)
EDGE on the Net reported that the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) Therapeutic Research, Education, and AIDS Training in Asia (TREAT Asia) program would study ways to integrate hepatitis C treatment into routine HIV care for coinfected people living in resource-limited areas of Asia and the Pacific region. Nicolas Durier, MD, MPH, TREAT Asia’s director of research and one of the study’s authors, hoped the study results would stimulate replication of the care model in Asia and the Pacific region and enhance advocacy for expanding access to treatment.
The study would offer free treatment to 200 HIV and hepatitis C-coinfected patients who showed signs of liver disease. Approximately 5 million people (15 percent of all HIV-infected people) worldwide had both HIV and hepatitis C. Those coinfected with the viruses progressed more often to hepatitis C-related liver disease, a “significant cause of death” for HIV-infected people. In addition to integrating hepatitis C treatment into routine HIV care, amfAR’s TREAT Asia care model would use a “simplified treatment protocol, intensive patient disease education, treatment preparedness, and adherence support,” and peer support.
amfAR would implement the TREAT Asia program in four partner HIV treatment centers: “Cipto Mangunkusumo General Hospital in Jakarta, Indonesia; the HIV-NAT/Thai Red Cross AIDS Research Center in Bangkok, Thailand; the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi, Vietnam; and the University of Malaya Medical Centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.” Merck Sharp and Dohme would provide study drugs under the company’s Investigator-Initiated Study Program, and Abbott would supply hepatitis C molecular viral load and genotyping tests.
The TREAT Asia cooperative network encompassed 23 adult and 21 pediatric clinical sites and HIV support programs across Asia and the Pacific region. Since 1985, amfAR has funded more than 2,000 research teams and invested more than $366 million in anti-AIDS programs.