Incidence of hepatitis-C among HIV infected men who have sex with men (MSM) attending a sexual health service: a cohort study.

Gamage DG, Read TR, Bradshaw CS, Hocking JS, Howley K, Chen MY, Fairley CK.

BMC Infect Dis. 2011 Feb 3;11:39. doi: 10.1186/1471-2334-11-39.

BACKGROUND: We aimed to determine the incidence of Hepatitis C (HCV) infection among HIV-infected men who have sex with men (MSM) attending a Sexual Health Centre. METHODS: A retrospective cohort study was carried out among HIV-infected MSM seen at least once between February 2002 and March 2010. The analysis was restricted to MSM who had had a negative HCV antibody test at least 6 months after their diagnosis for HIV. Duration of follow up was taken from the date of HIV diagnosis to the first positive or last negative HCV antibody test. RESULTS: During the time 1445 HIV-infected men attended the clinic of whom 1065 (74%) were MSM. Of these, 869 (82%) were tested for HCV at any time after HIV diagnosis. Of these 869, 69% (620) tested HCV negative at least 6 months after their HIV diagnosis. These 620 men had a mean age of 34 years (range 17-72) at HIV diagnosis and a total of 4,359 person years (PY) of follow up. There were 40 incident cases of HCV, of which 16 were in injecting drug users (IDU) and 24 in non-IDU. The overall incidence of HCV among HIV-infected MSM was 0.9/100 PY (95% CI 0.6-1.2). The incidence among HIV-infected IDU was 4.7/100 PY (95% CI 2.7-7.5) while the incidence among HIV-infected non-IDU was 0.6/100 PY (95% CI 0.4-0.8) (hazard ratio of 8.7 and 95% CI 4.6-16.6, P < 0.001).The majority (78%) were tested for HCV because they developed abnormal liver transaminases (n = 31) or hepatitis symptoms (n = 2), while others (n = 7) were identified through routine HCV testing. CONCLUSION: A considerable proportion of HIV-positive MSM who did not inject drugs contracted HCV, presumably via sexual transmission and the main trigger for investigation was abnormal liver transaminases.

PMID: 21291565

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.