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Hepatitis C virus seroprevalence and risk factors among patients with HIV infection

Prevalência e fatores de risco da hepatite C em pacientes infectados pelo vírus da imunodeficiência humana

The objective of this study was to evaluate the prevalence and risk factors associated with HCV infection in a group of HIV seropositive patients. We analyzed the medical records of 1,457 patients. All patients were tested for HCV infection by third generation ELISA. Whenever possible, a sample of the positive patients was also tested for HCV by PCR. HCV positive patients were analyzed according to their risk factors for both infections. The prevalence of anti-HCV positive patients was 17.7% (258 patients). Eighty-two (82) of these patients were also tested by PCR and 81 were positive for HCV virus (98%). One hundred fifty-one (58.5%) were intravenous drug users (IDU); 42 (16.3%) were sexual partners of HIV patients; 23 (8.9%) were homosexual males; 12 (4.7%) had received blood transfusion; 61 (17.5%) had promiscuous sexual habits; 14 (5.4%) denied any risk factor; 12 (4.7%) were sexual partners of IDU. Two hundred four patients mentioned only one risk factor. Among them, 28 (10.9%) were sexual partners of HIV-positive patients. Although intravenous drug use was the most important risk factor for co-infection, sexual transmission seemed to contribute to the high HCV seroprevalence in this group of patients.

HIV-HCV; Viral Hepatitis; Epidemiology; Seroprevalence; Brazil

Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo Av. Dr. Enéas de Carvalho Aguiar, 470, 05403-000 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil, Tel. +55 11 3061-7005 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil