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Open Access Research

Increasing Hepatitis C treatment uptake among HIV-infected patients using an HIV primary care model

Edward R Cachay13*, Lucas Hill2, Craig Ballard2, Bradford Colwell2, Francesca Torriani13, David Wyles13 and William C Mathews1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Medicine, Owen Clinic, University of California at San Diego, 200 W. Arbor Drive, San Diego, CA, 92103-8681, USA

2 Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of California at San Diego, San Diego, CA, USA

3 Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of California at San Diego, San Diego, CA, USA

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AIDS Research and Therapy 2013, 10:9  doi:10.1186/1742-6405-10-9

Published: 28 March 2013



Access to Hepatitis C (HCV) care is low among HIV-infected individuals, highlighting the need for new models to deliver care for this population.


Retrospective cohort analysis that compared the number of HIV patients who initiated HCV therapy: hepatology (2005–2008) vs. HIV primary care model (2008–2011). Logistic-regression modeling was used to ascertain factors associated with HCV therapy initiation and achievement of sustained viral response (SVR).


Of 196 and 163 patients that were enrolled in the HIV primary care and hepatology models, 48 and 26 were treated for HCV, respectively (p = 0.043). The HIV/HCV-patient referral rate did not differ during the two study periods (0.10 vs. 0.12/patient-yr, p = 0.18). In unadjusted analysis, predictors (p < 0.05) of HCV treatment initiation included referral to the HIV primary care model (OR: 1.7), a CD4+ count ≥400/mm3 (OR: 1.8) and alanine aminotranferase level ≥63U/L (OR: 1.9). Prior psychiatric medication use correlated negatively with HCV treatment initiation (OR: 0.6, p = 0.045). In adjusted analysis the strongest predictor of HCV treatment initiation was CD4+ count (≥400/mm3, OR: 2.1, p = 0.01). There was no significant difference in either clinic model (primary care vs. hepatology) in the rates of treatment discontinuation due to adverse events (29% vs. 16%), loss to follow-up (8 vs. 8%), or HCV SVR (44 vs. 35%).


Using a HIV primary care model increased the number of HIV patients who initiate HCV therapy with comparable outcomes to a hepatology model.

HIV; HCV treatment; Primary care; Hepatology