Health Canada suggests that 250,000 Canadians are currently living with hepatitis C and up to 30 per cent of those living with HIV in Canada also contend with hepatitis C. However, those that are co-infected are often not included in key studies evaluating HIV and HCV medications. As a result, uncertainty often guides treatment decisions.

In response to this situation Drs. Curtis Cooper (U Ottawa), Marina Klein (McGill) and Mark Hull (BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS) have led a CTN initiative to develop new Canadian HIV-hepatitis C treatment guidlines. The guidelines include recommendations for evaluating co-infected patients, addressing barriers to care, selecting treatments, determining treatment timing and addressing drug-drug interactions. In addition to filling an important knowledge gap, these guidelines come at a unique moment in time where many new hepatitis C (HCV) treatments are currently being tested. At the event in Vancouver the authors asked for and received feedback to a draft version of the guidelines.
On April 12 in Vancouver at the 22nd Annual Canadian Conference on HIV/AIDS Research — CAHR 2013, the CTN hosted a lunch symposium entitled “2013 CIHR Canadian HIV Trials Network HIV-HCV Co-infection Guidelines: Pre-Finalization Feedback Session.” Right after the event we caught up with two of the authors, Drs. Curtis Cooper and Mark Hall, and asked them to provide a little more information about the guidelines and to talk about the goals and challenges of this health initiative.

If you have any questions, or wish to have a draft copy of the guidelines for review please send a message to ctninfo@hivnet.ubc.ca.

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