Background The Netherlands has provided unrestricted access to direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) since November 2015. We analyzed the nationwide hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment uptake among patients coinfected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and HCV.

Methods Data were obtained from the ATHENA HIV observational cohort in which >98% of HIV-infected patients ever registered since 1998 are included. Patients were included if they ever had 1 positive HCV RNA result, did not have spontaneous clearance, and were known to still be in care. Treatment uptake and outcome were assessed. When patients were treated more than once, data were included from only the most recent treatment episode. Data were updated until February 2017. In addition, each treatment center was queried in April 2017 for a data update on DAA treatment and achieved sustained virological response.

Results Of 23574 HIV-infected patients ever linked to care, 1471 HCV-coinfected patients (69% men who have sex with men, 15% persons who [formerly] injected drugs, and 15% with another HIV transmission route) fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Of these, 87% (1284 of 1471) had ever initiated HCV treatment between 2000 and 2017, 76% (1124 of 1471) had their HCV infection cured; DAA treatment results were pending in 6% (92 of 1471). Among men who have sex with men, 83% (844 of 1022) had their HCV infection cured, and DAA treatment results were pending in 6% (66 of 1022). Overall, 187 patients had never initiated treatment, DAAs had failed in 14, and a pegylated interferon-alfa–based regimen had failed in 54.

Conclusions Fifteen months after unrestricted DAA availability the majority of HIV/HCV-coinfected patients in the Netherlands have their HCV infection cured (76%) or are awaiting DAA treatment results (6%). This rapid treatment scale-up may contribute to future HCV elimination among these patients.

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Clinical Infectious Diseases
Department of Internal Medicine

Boerekamps, A. (Anne), Newsum, A. M., Smit, C. (Colette), Arends, J., Richter, C. (Clemens), Reiss, P., … Tuk, B. (B.). (2018). High treatment uptake in human immunodeficiency virus/ hepatitis C virus-coinfected patients after unrestricted access to direct-acting antivirals in the Netherlands. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 66(9), 1352–1359. doi:10.1093/cid/cix1004