Supplementary Material for: Treatment of Acute Hepatitis C Infection with Pegylated Interferon and Ribavirin in Patients Coinfected with Human Immunodeficiency Virus: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Background/Aims: Of the 35 million human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive patients worldwide, 10-40% are coinfected with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV). Compared to HCV-monoinfected patients, those coinfected experience decreased spontaneous HCV clearance, accelerated liver fibrosis, and a decreased response to anti-HCV therapy. We conducted a meta-analysis to estimate the efficacy of treating acute HCV in HIV-positive patients with peginterferon and ribavirin combination therapy. Methods: Two authors independently searched MEDLINE and EMBASE (2014) for English articles, and reviewed bibliographies and abstracts from major liver and HIV conferences (2011-2013). Original studies featuring at least 10 treatment-naive, HIV-positive adults infected with acute HCV and treated with peginterferon and ribavirin were included. Analyses were calculated using a random-effects model. Heterogeneity was assessed using the Cochrane Q test (p < 0.05) and the I2 statistic (>50%). Results: From 12 studies (450 patients), the pooled sustained virological response (SVR) was 71.4% (95% CI 64.7-77.4; Q statistic = 22.20, p = 0.023, I2 = 50.44). The rapid virological response (RVR; 7 studies, 196 patients) was 47.4% (95% CI 40.6-54.7), and the early virological response (EVR; 9 studies, 283 patients) was 82.8% (95% CI 67.0-92.0). The probability of an SVR was 93.1% (95% CI 84.9-97.0) in those who obtained an RVR (6 studies, 82 patients) and 85.9% (95% CI 78.7-91.0) if an EVR (7 studies, 168 patients) was reached. Conclusion: Peginterferon with ribavirin is an effective option for treating acute HCV in HIV-positive patients, especially if they achieve an RVR or an EVR.