Hepatitis C (HCV) the liver damaging virus that affects about 33 percent of HIV positive people is tough to treat.
The standard therapy (Pegasys plus ribavirin) takes about a year, works in only about a third of those with HIV and often causes unpleasant side effects.
So for some time now, newer classes of hepatitis meds have been badly needed.
Good news, A front runner in the development pipeline telaprevir a protease inhibitor for HCV is steadily advancing.
In a resent phase 11 trial, 65 percent of participants who added Telaprevir to the standard hep C drugs for the first 12 weeks of treatment cleared HCV; only 45 percent of those taking just the standard drugs did.
Abonus in the Telaprevir group treatment time was cut from 12 months to six.
But there's a catch. To date Telaprevir trials have excluded people with HIV. Theoretically if approved Telaprevir should increase cure rates for coinfected people, says Daniel Raymond of the Harm Reduction Coalition. though I doubt it will shorten the duration of their treatment.
Hey, why not include HIV positive people in trials and find out!