European journal of clinical microbiology & infectious diseases : official publication of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology 2016 10 2736(3) 487-494 doi 10.1007/s10096-016-2822-6
In April 2015, the Spanish National Health System (SNHS) developed a national strategic plan for the diagnosis, treatment, and management of hepatitis C virus (HCV). Our aim was to analyze the impact of this on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients included in the HERACLES cohort during the first 6 months of its implementation. The HERACLES cohort (NCT02511496) was set up in March 2015 to evaluate the status and follow-up of chronic HCV infection in patients co-infected with HIV in the south of Spain. In September 2015, the data were analyzed to identify clinical events (death, liver decompensation, and liver fibrosis progression) and rate of treatment implementation in this population. The study population comprised a total of 3474 HIV/HCV co-infected patients. The distribution according to liver fibrosis stage was: 1152 F0-F1 (33.2 %); 513 F2 (14.4 %); 641 F3 (18.2 %); 761 F4 (21.9 %); and 407 whose liver fibrosis was not measured (12.3 %). During follow-up, 248 patients progressed by at least one fibrosis stage [7.1 %; 95 % confidence interval (CI): 6.3-8 %]. Among cirrhotic patients, 52 (6.8 %; 95 % CI: 5.2-8.9 %) developed hepatic decompensation. In the overall population, 50 patients died (1.4 %; 95 % CI: 1.1-1.9 %). Eight hundred and nineteen patients (23.56 %) initiated interferon (IFN)-free treatment during follow-up, of which 47.8 % were cirrhotic. In our study, during 6 months of follow-up, 23.56 % of HIV/HCV co-infected patients included in our cohort received HCV treatment. However, we observed a high incidence of negative short-term outcomes in our population.