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1.  Different HCV Genotype Distributions of HIV-Infected Individuals in Henan and Guangxi, China 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(11):e50343.
Background
Due to shared transmission routes, hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is highly prevalent among people infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) is associated with hepatotoxicity, leading to the negative effects on patients with HIV/HCV co-infection. In order to provide valuable information for HCV management in this particular population, we investigated the HCV genotypes in HIV-infected individuals from Henan and Guangxi, the two provinces with the most HIV-infected cases in China.
Methods
Individuals, who acquired HIV infection through various risk routes, were recruited from Henan and Guangxi. Test of antibodies against HCV (anti-HCV) was conducted, and detection of HCV RNA was performed by PCR amplification. HCV subtypes were determined by direct sequencing of amplicons, followed by phylogenetic analysis.
Results
We recruited a total of 1,112 HIV-infected people in this present study. Anti-HCV was detected from 218 (50.1%) patients from Henan and 81 (12.0%) patients from Guangxi, respectively. The highest prevalence of HIV/HCV co-infection was observed from FBDs (former blood donors) (87.2%) in Henan and IDUs (intravenous drug users) (81.8%) in Guangxi, respectively. The seroprevalence rate of HCV among people with sexual contact was significantly higher in Henan than in Guangxi (18.7% vs. 3.5%, P<0.05). The positive rate of HCV RNA in Henan and Guangxi was 30.6% (133/435) and 11.2% (76/677), respectively. Moreover, we found that 20 anti-HCV negative samples were HCV positive by PCR amplification. HCV subtype 1b (52.7%) was predominant in Henan, followed by subtype 2a (41.9%). The most frequently detected subtypes in Guangxi were 6a (35.6%) and 3b (32.9%).
Conclusion
The HCV genotype distributions were different in HIV-infected people from Henan and Guangxi. HIV/HCV co-infection was not only linked to the transmission routes, but also associated with the geographic position.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0050343
PMCID: PMC3511438  PMID: 23226265
2.  Co-infection with HIV and hepatitis C virus in former plasma/blood donors: challenge for patient care in rural China 
AIDS (London, England)  2006;20(10):1429-1435.
Background
Illegal commercial plasma donation in the late 1980s and early 1990s caused blood-borne infections in China.
Objectives
To estimate the prevalence of HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections and to identify associated risk factors in central China with a history of illegal plasma collection activities.
Design and methods
A cross-sectional study was carried out in 2004, in which all adult residents in four villages in rural Shanxi Province were invited for a questionnaire interview and testing of HIV and HCV antibodies.
Results
Of 3062 participating villagers, 29.5% reported a history of selling whole blood or plasma. HIV seropositivity was confirmed in 1.3% of subjects and 12.7% were HCV positive. Their co-infection rates were 1.1% among all study subjects, 85% among HIV-positive subjects, and 8.7% among HCV-positive subjects. Selling plasma [odds ratio (OR), 22.5; 95% confidence interval (CI), 16.1–31.7; P < 0.001] or blood (OR, 3.1; 95% CI, 2.3–4.2; P < 0.001) were independently associated with HIV and/or HCV infections. Although a spouse's history of selling plasma/blood was not associated with either infection, the HIV or HCV seropositivity of a spouse was significantly associated with HIV and/or HCV infections (both OR, 3.2; 95% CI, 2.0–5.2 in men, 2.0–4.9 in women; P < 0.001). For men, residence in the village with a prior illegal plasma collection center (OR, 2.5; 95% CI, 1.7–3.7; P < 0.001) and for women, older age (OR, 3.4; 95% CI, 1.2–14.0; P = 0.04) were associated with HIV and/or HCV infections.
Conclusions
HIV and HCV infections are now prevalent in these Chinese communities. HIV projects should consider screening and care for HCV co-infection.
doi:10.1097/01.aids.0000233577.33973.fa
PMCID: PMC2749723  PMID: 16791018
HIV; hepatitis C virus; cross-sectional study; plasma donors; rural health; China
3.  Impaired Hepatitis C Virus-Specific T Cell Responses and Recurrent Hepatitis C Virus in HIV Coinfection 
PLoS Medicine  2006;3(12):e492.
Background
Hepatitis C virus (HCV)-specific T cell responses are critical for spontaneous resolution of HCV viremia. Here we examined the effect of a lymphotropic virus, HIV-1, on the ability of coinfected patients to maintain spontaneous control of HCV infection.
Methods and Findings
We measured T cell responsiveness by lymphoproliferation and interferon-γ ELISPOT in a large cohort of HCV-infected individuals with and without HIV infection. Among 47 HCV/HIV-1-coinfected individuals, spontaneous control of HCV was associated with more frequent HCV-specific lymphoproliferative (LP) responses (35%) compared to coinfected persons who exhibited chronic HCV viremia (7%, p = 0.016), but less frequent compared to HCV controllers who were not HIV infected (86%, p = 0.003). Preservation of HCV-specific LP responses in coinfected individuals was associated with a higher nadir CD4 count (r2 = 0.45, p < 0.001) and the presence and magnitude of the HCV-specific CD8+ T cell interferon-γ response (p = 0.0014). During long-term follow-up, recurrence of HCV viremia occurred in six of 25 coinfected individuals with prior control of HCV, but in 0 of 16 HIV-1-negative HCV controllers (p = 0.03, log rank test). In these six individuals with recurrent HCV viremia, the magnitude of HCV viremia following recurrence inversely correlated with the CD4 count at time of breakthrough (r = −0.94, p = 0.017).
Conclusions
These results indicate that HIV infection impairs the immune response to HCV—including in persons who have cleared HCV infection—and that HIV-1-infected individuals with spontaneous control of HCV remain at significant risk for a second episode of HCV viremia. These findings highlight the need for repeat viral RNA testing of apparent controllers of HCV infection in the setting of HIV-1 coinfection and provide a possible explanation for the higher rate of HCV persistence observed in this population.
HIV infection impairs the immune response to HCV. Even individuals who have cleared HCV infection remain at significant risk for a second episode of HCV viremia.
Editors' Summary
Background.
Because of shared transmission routes (contaminated needles, contaminated blood products, and, to a lesser extent, unprotected sex), a large proportion of HIV-infected individuals (estimates range between 25% and 33%) are also infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV). In most but not all individuals infected with HCV, the virus infection is chronic and causes liver disease that can eventually lead to liver failure. Disease progress is slow; it often takes decades until infected individuals develop serious liver disease. In people infected with both HCV and HIV, however, liver disease caused by HCV often appears sooner and progresses faster. As highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) and prophylaxis of opportunistic infections increase the life span of persons living with HIV, HCV-related liver disease has become a major cause of hospital admissions and deaths among HIV-infected persons.
Why Was This Study Done?
A sizable minority of people who are infected with HCV manage to control the virus and never get liver disease, and scientists have found that these people somehow mounted a strong immune response against the hepatitis C virus. CD4+ T cells, the very immune cells that are infected and destroyed by HIV, play an important role in this immune response. The goal of the present study was to better understand how infection with HIV compromises the specific immune response to HCV and thereby the control of HCV disease progression.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers recruited four groups of patients, 94 in total, all of whom were infected with HCV. Two groups comprised patients who were infected with HIV as well as HCV, with either high or undetectable levels of HCV (30 patients in each group). The two other groups included patients not infected with HIV, either with high or undetectable levels of HCV (17 patients in each group). The researchers focused on the individuals who, despite coinfection with HIV, were able to control their HCV infection. They found that those individuals managed to maintain relatively high levels of CD4+ T cells that specifically recognize HCV. However, a quarter of these patients (six out of 25) failed to keep HCV levels down for the entire observation period of up to 2.5 years; their blood levels of HCV rose substantially, most likely due to recurrence of the previously suppressed virus (the researchers could not be certain that none of the patients had become infected again after a new exposure to HCV-contaminated blood, but there was no evidence that they had engaged in risky behavior). The rise of HCV levels in the blood of the relapsed patients coincided with a drop in overall CD4+ T cell numbers. Following relapse in these individuals, HCV did not return to undetectable levels during the study. During the same period none of the 16 HIV-uninfected people with controlled HCV infection experienced a recurrence of detectable HCV.
What Do These Findings Mean?
Despite the relatively small numbers of patients, these results suggest that recurrence of HCV after initial control of the virus is more likely in people who are coinfected with HIV, and that HCV control is lost when CD4+ T cell counts fall. This is one more reason to test all HIV-positive patients for HCV coinfection. Coinfected patients, even those who seem to be controlling HCV and would not automatically receive HCV treatment, should be regularly tested for a rise of HCV levels. In addition, maintaining CD4+ T cells at a high level might be particularly important for those patients, which means that doctors might consider starting HAART therapy earlier than is generally recommended for HIV-infected individuals. Additional studies are needed to support these recommendations, however, especially as this study did not follow the patients long enough to determine the consequences of the observed loss of control of HCV.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0030492.
AIDS Treatment Data Network factsheet on HIV/HCV coinfection
US CDC factsheet on HIV/HCV coinfection
American Liver Foundation, information on HIV and HCV
MedlinePlus pages on HCV
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0030492
PMCID: PMC1705826  PMID: 17194190
4.  High Prevalence of HIV, HCV, HBV and Co-Infection and Associated Risk Factors among Injecting Drug Users in Yunnan Province, China 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(8):e42937.
Objective
To estimate the prevalence of HIV, HCV, HBV and co-infection with 2 or 3 viruses and evaluate risk factors among injecting drug users (IDUs) in Yunnan province, China.
Methods
2080 IDUs were recruited from 5 regions of Yunnan Province, China to detect the infection status of HIV, hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV). Statistical analysis was performed to evaluate risk factors related to HIV, HCV and HBV infections.
Results
The infection rates among all participants were 25.5% for HIV, 77.7% for HCV, 19.2% for HBV, 15% for HIV/HCV, 0.3% for HIV/HBV, 7.8% for HCV/HBV and 7.1% for HIV/HCV/HBV. The prevalence of virus infection varied widely by region in Yunnan of China. Statistical analyses indicated that high prevalence of HIV and HCV among IDUs was positively associated with the duration of drug injection and sharing needles/syringes; besides, HCV infection was associated with the frequency of drug injection.
Conclusions
HIV, HCV, HBV infections and co-infections were still very prevalent among IDUs in Yunnan province because of drug use behaviors.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0042937
PMCID: PMC3420897  PMID: 22916185
5.  Characteristics of HCV Co-Infection among HIV Infected Individuals from an Area with High Risk of Blood-Borne Infections in Central China 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e94219.
Objective
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) co-infection has been proved to be a growing public health concern. The prevalence and genotypic pattern vary with geographic locations. Limited information is available to date with regard to HCV genotype and its clinical implications among those former commercial blood donor communities. The aims of this study were to genetically define the HCV genotype and associated clinical characteristics of HIV/HCV co-infected patients from a region with commercial blood donation history in central China.
Methods
A cross sectional study, including 164 HIV infected subjects, was conducted in Shanxi province central China. Serum samples were collected and HCV antibody testing, AST and ALT testing were performed. Seropositive samples were further subjected to RT-PCR followed by direct sequence coupled with phylogenetic analysis of Core-E1 and NS5B regions performed in comparison with known reference genotypes.
Findings
A total of 139 subjects were HCV antibody positive. Genotype could be determined for 88 isolates. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the predominant circulating subtype was HCV 1b (65.9%), followed by HCV 2a (34.1%). The HCV viral load in the subjects infected with HIV1b was significantly higher than those infected with HCV 2a (P = 0.006). No significant difference for HCV RNA level was detected between ART status, CD4+ cell count level and HIV RNA level. Serum AST and ALT level were likely to increase with HCV RNA level, although no significance was observed. Those who had conducted commercial donation later than 1991 (OR 3.43, 95% CI: 1.12–10.48) and had a short duration of donation (OR 0.35, 95% CI: 0.13–0.96) were more likely to be infected with HCV 1b.
Conclusion
These results suggest that HCV subtype 1b predominates in this population, and the impact of HIV status and ART on HCV disease progression is not significantly correlated.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0094219
PMCID: PMC3978003  PMID: 24709894
6.  Prevalence of HIV and hepatitis C virus infections among inmates of Ontario remand facilities 
Background
Each year more than 56 000 adult and young offenders are admitted to Ontario's remand facilities (jails, detention centres and youth centres). The prevalence of HIV infection in Ontario remand facilities was last measured over a decade ago, and no research on the prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection has been conducted in such facilities. We sought to determine the prevalence of HIV infection, HCV infection and HIV–HCV coinfection among inmates in Ontario's remand facilities.
Methods
A voluntary and anonymous cross-sectional prevalence study of HIV and HCV infections was conducted among people admitted to 13 selected remand facilities across Ontario between Feb. 1, 2003, and June 20, 2004. Data collection included a saliva specimen for HIV and HCV antibody screening and an interviewer-administered survey. Prevalence rates and 95% confidence intervals were calculated and examined according to demographic characteristics, region of incarceration and self-reported history of injection drug use.
Results
In total, 1877 participants provided both a saliva specimen and survey information. Among the adult participants, the prevalence of HIV infection was 2.1% among men and 1.8% among women. Adult offenders most likely to have HIV infection were older offenders (≥ 30 years) and injection drug users. The prevalence of HCV infection was 15.9% among men, 30.2% among women and 54.7% among injection drug users. Adult offenders most likely to have HCV infection were women, older offenders (≥ 30 years) and injection drug users. The prevalence of HCV–HIV coinfection was 1.2% among men and 1.5% among women. It was highest among older inmates and injection drug users. Among the young offenders, none was HIV positive and 1 (0.4%) was HCV positive. On the basis of the study results, we estimated that 1079 HIV-positive adults and 9208 HCV-positive adults were admitted to remand facilities in Ontario from Apr. 1, 2003, to Mar. 31, 2004.
Interpretation
Adult offenders entering Ontario remand facilities have a considerably higher prevalence of HIV and HCV infections than the general population.
doi:10.1503/cmaj.060416
PMCID: PMC1930192  PMID: 17664449
7.  Plasma Hepatitis C Virus Viral Load Among Hepatitis C Virus Mono-Infected and HCV/HIV Co-Infected Individuals in Yunnan Province,China 
Hepatitis Monthly  2012;12(7):453-459.
Background
Hepatitis C virus (HCV)/human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) co-infection has become a serious public health problem especially in high risk groups such as injection drug users in China. However, the impact of HIV infection and antiretroviral therapy (ART) on HCV viral load which is usually regarded as a predictor of liver disease progress had not been well studied in this country.
Objectives
To explore correlations of HIV co-infection and ART with plasma HCV load among HCV-infected patients in an ethnic minority area in Yunnan Province, China.
Patients and Methods
HCV/HIV co-infected patients and HCV mono-infected controls were examined and compared for plasma HCV RNA and related risk factors.
Results
A total of 145 HCV/HIV co-infected patients and 25 HCV mono-infected controls were studied. The majority of the participants were male, belonged to an ethnic minority and were younger than 45 years old. HCV viral suppression rate with undetectable plasma HCV viral load was 28.3% in the HCV/HIV co-infected patients, 36% among HCV mono-infected controls and 29.4% overall. ART-prescribed HCV/HIV co-infected patients had significantly higher HCV viral loads (IQR: (3.80-6.44)*log10 copies ml-1) than those naïve to ART (IQR: (undetectable-6.41)*log10 copies ml-1) and HCV mono-infected patients (IQR: (undetectable-5.44)*log10 copies ml-1). Men, from the Dai minority and those with more than six years education, were also shown to have a higher plasma HCV viral load,according to multiple logistic regression analysis.
Conclusions
ART potentially increases the plasma HCV viral load among HCV/HIV coinfected patients in an ethnic minority area in China. Future large scale prospective cohort studies are needed to address the controversy associated between HIV co-infection and the natural history of HCV.
doi:10.5812/hepatmon.6160
PMCID: PMC3437457  PMID: 23008726
HIV; Coinfection; Antiretroviral therapy, Highly Active; Viral load
8.  Risks for HIV, HBV, and HCV infections among male injection drug users in northern Vietnam: A case-control study 
AIDS care  2009;21(1):7-16.
Injection drug use (IDU) and HIV infection are important public health problems in Vietnam. The IDU population increased 70% from 2000 to 2004 and is disproportionately affected by HIV and AIDS--the country’s second leading cause of death. Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) share transmission routes with HIV and cause serious medical consequences. This study aimed to determine risk factors for acquisition of HIV, HBV, and HCV infections among IDUs in a northern province. We conducted a matched case-control study among active IDUs aged 18–45 who participated in a community-based survey (30-minute interview and serologic testing). Each HIV-infected IDU (case) was matched with one HIV-uninfected IDU (control) by age, sex (males only), and study site (128 pairs). Similar procedures were used for HBV infection (50 pairs) and HCV infection (65 pairs). Conditional logistic regression models were fit to identify risk factors for each infection. Among 309 surveyed IDUs, the HIV, HBV, and HCV prevalence was 42.4%, 80.9%, and 74.1%, respectively. Only 11.0% reported having been vaccinated against hepatitis B. While 13.3% of the IDUs reported sharing needles (past 6 months), 63.8% engaged in indirect sharing practices (past 6 months), including sharing drug solutions, containers, rinse water, and frontloading drugs. In multivariable models, sharing drugs through frontloading was significantly associated with HIV infection (odds ratio [OR] = 2.8), HBV infection (OR = 3.8), and HCV infection (OR = 4.6). We report an unrecognized association between sharing drugs through frontloading and higher rates of HIV, HBV and HCV infections among male IDUs in Vietnam. This finding may have important implications for bloodborne viral prevention for IDUs in Vietnam.
doi:10.1080/09540120802017610
PMCID: PMC2869448  PMID: 19085215
HIV; hepatitis B virus; hepatitis C virus; Vietnam; substance abuse
9.  Kidney and liver organ transplantation in persons with human immunodeficiency virus 
Executive Summary
Objective
The objective of this analysis is to determine the effectiveness of solid organ transplantation in persons with end stage organ failure (ESOF) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV+)
Clinical Need: Condition and Target Population
Patients with end stage organ failure who have been unresponsive to other forms of treatment eventually require solid organ transplantation. Similar to persons who are HIV negative (HIV−), persons living with HIV infection (HIV+) are at risk for ESOF from viral (e.g. hepatitis B and C) and non-viral aetiologies (e.g. coronary artery disease, diabetes, hepatocellular carcinoma). Additionally, HIV+ persons also incur risks of ESOF from HIV-associated nephropathy (HIVAN), accelerated liver damage from hepatitis C virus (HCV+), with which an estimated 30% of HIV positive (HIV+) persons are co-infected, and coronary artery disease secondary to antiretroviral therapy. Concerns that the need for post transplant immunosuppression and/or the interaction of immunosuppressive drugs with antiretroviral agents may accelerate the progression of HIV disease, as well as the risk of opportunistic infections post transplantation, have led to uncertainty regarding the overall benefit of transplantation among HIV+ patients. Moreover, the scarcity of donor organs and their use in a population where the clinical benefit of transplantation is uncertain has limited the availability of organ transplantation to persons living with ESOF and HIV.
With the development of highly active anti retroviral therapy (HAART), which has been available in Canada since 1997, there has been improved survival and health-related quality of life for persons living with HIV. HAART can suppress HIV replication, enhance immune function, and slow disease progression. HAART managed persons can now be expected to live longer than those in the pre-HAART era and as a result many will now experience ESOF well before they experience life-threatening conditions related to HIV infection. Given their improved prognosis and the burden of illness they may experience from ESOF, the benefit of solid organ transplantation for HIV+ patients needs to be reassessed.
Evidence-Based Analysis Methods
Research Questions
What are the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of solid organ transplantation in HIV+ persons with ESOF?
Literature Search
A literature search was performed on September 22, 2009 using OVID MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, EMBASE, the Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), the Cochrane Library, and the International Agency for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA) for studies published from January 1, 1996 to September 22, 2009.
Inclusion Criteria
Systematic review with or without a Meta analysis, RCT, Non-RCT with controls
HIV+ population undergoing solid organ transplantation
HIV+ population managed with HAART therapy
Controls include persons undergoing solid organ transplantation who are i) HIV− ii) HCV+ mono-infected, and iii) HIV+ persons with ESOF not transplanted.
Studies that completed and reported results of a Kaplan-Meier Survival Curve analysis.
Studies with a minimum (mean or medium) follow up of 1-year.
English language citations
Exclusion Criteria
Case reports and case series were excluded form this review.
Outcomes of Interest
i) Risk of Death after transplantation
ii) Death censored graft survival (DCGS)
iii) HIV disease progression defined as the post transplant incidence of:
- opportunistic infections or neoplasms,
- CD4+ T-cell count < 200mm3, and
- any detectable level of plasma HIV viral load.
iv) Acute graft rejection,
v) Return to dialysis,
vi) Recurrence of HCV infection
Summary of Findings
No direct evidence comparing an HIV+ cohort undergoing transplantation with the same not undergoing transplantation (wait list) was found in the literature search.
The results of this review are reported for the following comparison cohorts undergoing transplantation:
i) Kidney Transplantation: HIV+ cohort compared with HIV− cohort
ii) Liver Transplantation: HIV+ cohort compared with HIV− negative cohort
iii) Liver Transplantation: HIV+ HCV+ (co-infected) cohort compared with HCV+ (mono-infected) cohort
Kidney Transplantation: HIV+ vs. HIV−
Based on a pooled HIV+ cohort sample size of 285 patients across four studies, the risk of death after kidney transplantation in an HIV+ cohort does not differ to that of an HIV− cohort [hazard ratio (HR): 0.90; 95% CI: 0.36, 2.23]. The quality of evidence supporting this outcome is very low.
Death censored graft survival was reported in one study with an HIV+ cohort sample size of 100, and was statistically significantly different (p=.03) to that in the HIV− cohort (n=36,492). However, the quality of evidence supporting this outcome was determined to be very low. There was also uncertainty in the rate of return to dialysis after kidney transplantation in both the HIV+ and HIV− groups and the effect, if any, this may have on patient survival. Because of the very low quality evidence rating, the effect of kidney transplantation on HIV-disease progression is uncertain.
The rate of acute graft rejection was determined using the data from one study. There was a nonsignificant difference between the HIV+ and HIV− cohorts (OR 0.13; 95% CI: 0.01, 2.64), although again, because of very low quality evidence there is uncertainty in this estimate of effect.
Liver Transplantation: HIV+ vs. HIV−
Based on a combined HIV+ cohort sample size of 198 patient across five studies, the risk of death after liver transplantation in an HIV+ cohort (with at least 50% of the cohort co-infected with HCV+) is statistically significantly 64% greater compared with an HIV− cohort (HR: 1.64; 95% CI: 1.32, 2.02). The quality of evidence supporting this outcome is very low.
Death censored graft survival was reported for an HIV+ cohort in one study (n=11) however the DCGS rate of the contemporaneous control HIV− cohort was not reported. Because of sparse data the quality of evidence supporting this outcome is very low indicating death censored graft survival is uncertain.
Both the CD4+ T-cell count and HIV viral load appear controlled post transplant with an incidence of opportunistic infection of 20.5%. However, the quality of this evidence for these outcomes is very low indicating uncertainty in these effects. Similarly, because of very low quality evidence there is uncertainty in the rate of acute graft rejection among both the HIV+ and HIV− groups
Liver Transplantation: HIV+/HCV+ vs. HCV+
Based on a combined HIV+/HCV+ cohort sample size of 156 from seven studies, the risk of death after liver transplantation is significantly greater (2.8 fold) in a co-infected cohort compared with an HCV+ mono-infected cohort (HR: 2.81; 95% CI: 1.47, 5.37). The quality of evidence supporting this outcome is very low. Death censored graft survival evidence was not available.
Regarding disease progression, based on a combined sample size of 71 persons in the co-infected cohort, the CD4+ T-cell count and HIV viral load appear controlled post transplant; however, again the quality of evidence supporting this outcome is very low. The rate of opportunistic infection in the co-infected cohort was 7.2%. The quality of evidence supporting this estimate is very low, indicating uncertainty in these estimates of effect.
Based on a combined HIV+/HCV+ cohort (n=57) the rate of acute graft rejection does not differ to that of an HCV+ mono-infected cohort (OR: 0.88; 95% CI: 0.44, 1.76). Also based on a combined HIV+/HCV+ cohort (n=83), the rate of HCV+ recurrence does not differ to that of an HCV+ mono-infected cohort (OR: 0.66; 95% CI: 0.27, 1.59). In both cases, the quality of the supporting evidence was very low.
Overall, because of very low quality evidence there is uncertainty in the effect of kidney or liver transplantation in HIV+ persons with end stage organ failure compared with those not infected with HIV. Examining the economics of this issue, the cost of kidney and liver transplants in an HIV+ patient population are, on average, 56K and 147K per case, based on both Canadian and American experiences.
PMCID: PMC3377507  PMID: 23074407
10.  Factors Associated with Seronegative Chronic Hepatitis C Virus Infection in HIV Infection 
Background
Chronic seronegative hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is defined as being HCV antibody (anti-HCV) negative, but HCV RNA positivity occurs in individuals infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). However, associated factors are not well established because of the small number of reported cases.
Methods
Multivariate logistic regression analysis of HIV-infected subjects from 4 cohorts (Tien et al., 2006; Bonacini et al., 2001; George et al., 2002; and Hall et al., 2004) determined factors associated with HCV RNA positivity in anti-HCV–negative subjects. HCV enzyme immunoassay 2.0 was used to determine anti-HCV status.
Results
Among 1174 anti-HCV–negative, HIV-infected subjects, the prevalence of seronegative HCV infection was 3.2% (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.2%–4.3%). History of injection drug use (IDU; OR, 5.8; 95% CI, 2.7–12.8), higher alanine aminotransferase (ALT) level (OR, 2.0 per doubling; 95% CI, 1.3–3.2), and CD4 cell count <200 cells/μL (OR, 2.3; 95% CI, 1.1–4.8) were associated with HCV RNA positivity in anti-HCV–negative subjects. Among those with a history of IDU who had either a CD4 cell count <200 cells/μL or an ALT level greater than the upper limit of normal, the prevalence of seronegative HCV infection was 24% (95% CI, 13%–39%).
Conclusions
Detectable HCV RNA in the context of a negative HCV enzyme immunoassay 2.0 result in HIV-infected patients is low, but higher than the reported prevalence in HIV-uninfected patients. Our findings suggest that HCV RNA testing should be performed in anti-HCV–negative, HIV-infected patients, especially those with a history of IDU and either a CD4 cell count <200 cells/μL or an abnormal ALT level.
doi:10.1086/511038
PMCID: PMC3170414  PMID: 17243063
11.  HCV RNA Levels in a Multi-Ethnic Cohort of Injection Drug Users: Human Genetic, Viral and Demographic Associations 
Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.)  2012;56(1):86-94.
In patients with chronic hepatitis C, the hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA level is an important predictor of treatment response. To explore the relationship of HCV RNA with viral and demographic factors, as well as IL28B genotype, we examined viral levels in an ethnically diverse group of injection drug users (IDUs). Between 1998 and 2000, the Urban Health Study (UHS) recruited IDUs from street settings in San Francisco Bay area neighborhoods. Participants who were positive by HCV EIA were tested for HCV viremia by a bDNA assay. HCV genotype was determined by sequencing the HCV NS5B region. For a subset of participants, IL28B rs12979860 genotype was determined by Taqman. Among 1701 participants with HCV viremia, median age was 46 years and median duration of injection drug use was 26 years; 56.0% were African American and 34.0% were of European ancestry (non-Hispanic). HIV-1 prevalence was 13.9%. The overall median HCV RNA level was 6.45 log10 copies/ml. In unadjusted analyses, higher levels were found with older age, male gender, African American ancestry, HBV infection, HIV-1 infection and IL28B rs12979860-CC genotype; compared to participants infected with HCV genotype 1, HCV RNA was lower in participants with genotype 3 or genotype 4. In an adjusted analysis, age, gender, racial ancestry, HIV-1 infection, HCV genotype and IL28B rs12979860 genotype were all independently associated with HCV RNA. Conclusion: The level of HCV viremia is influenced by a large number of demographic, viral and human genetic factors.
doi:10.1002/hep.25652
PMCID: PMC3369001  PMID: 22331649
epidemiology; genetics; HCV; IL28B; viremia
12.  Epidemiology of Hepatitis C Virus Infection and Risk Factor Analysis in the Hebei Province, China 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e75586.
Background
In 1985, a hepatitis C virus (HCV) outbreak caused by plasmapheresis donation was reported in the Hebei Province, China. However, studies assessing the epidemic features and risk factors of HCV in the general population of Hebei have been limited until now.
Methods
The multicenter cluster sampling method was used to collect samples. The participants were interviewed. Relevant information was obtained from the general population using a standardized questionnaire, and association and logistic regression analyses were conducted. Serum samples were taken to test anti-HCV by enzyme immunoassays.
Results
A total of 4562 participants from 11 cities of the Hebei Province were enrolled. The average anti-HCV positive rate was 0.62% (29/4562), which was 1.07% in the rural population, compared with 0.22% in the urban population. The anti-HCV positive rate in the 40–59-year age group was higher than in those aged <40 years. History of blood transfusion and transmission in families were the main risk factors for HCV infection in this area.
Conclusion
The anti-HCV positive rate in Hebei has decreased significantly from that two decades ago. Safety of blood products and health education about HCV still need to be improved.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0075586
PMCID: PMC3777954  PMID: 24069430
13.  Prevalence of hepatitis C in a Swiss sample of men who have sex with men: whom to screen for HCV infection? 
BMC Public Health  2014;14:3.
Background
While the numbers of hepatitis-C-virus (HCV) infections among men who have sex with men (MSM) who are co-infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are on the rise, with vast evidence for sexual transmission of HCV in this population, concerns have also been raised regarding sexual HCV-transmission among MSM without HIV infection. Therefore, the aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of hepatitis C among MSM without HIV diagnosis in Zurich (Switzerland).
Methods
Participants were recruited from a gay health centre and various locations such as dark rooms, saunas and cruising areas in Zurich. Participants self-completed a questionnaire assessing known and suspected risk factors for HCV-infection, and provided a blood sample for detection of past (antibodies) and present (core antigen, RNA) infections with HCV.
Results
In total, 840 MSM aged 17-79 (median: 33 years) underwent HCV-testing and completed the questionnaire, among whom 19 reported living with HIV. Overall, seven tested positive for HCV-antibodies, and two were also positive for HCV core antigen and HCV-RNA–these two were immigrants, one from a country where HCV is endemic. None of the seven were aware of their infection. The seroprevalence of hepatitis C among the 821 non-HIV-diagnosed MSM was 0.37% (95%-CI: 0.12-1.69%), and one man harboured replicating virus (0.12%; 0.02-0.69%), resulting in a number needed to test of 821 to detect one active infection. Significant univariable associations of lifetime HCV-infection were found with known HIV-diagnosis (OR=72.7), being tattooed (OR=10.4), non-injection use of cocaine/amphetamines (OR=8.8), and non-Swiss origin (OR=8.5). For MSM without HIV-diagnosis, the only variable marginally associated with positive HCV-serostatus was being tattooed (OR=8.3). No significant associations were observed with reported injection drug use, unprotected anal intercourse, sexual practices that may lead to mucosal trauma, or proxy measures for group sex and lesion-prone STIs.
Conclusions
Our findings suggest that in Switzerland, hepatitis C among MSM without diagnosed HIV is not more prevalent than in the general population. We found no evidence of elevated rates of sexual transmission of HCV among MSM without HIV-infection. Therefore, we currently see no reason for promoting HCV-testing among all MSM in Switzerland.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-3
PMCID: PMC3890510  PMID: 24393532
HCV; Hepatitis C prevalence; MSM; Switzerland; NIDU
14.  HBV and HCV seroprevalence and their correlation with CD4 cells and liver enzymes among HIV positive individuals at University of Gondar Teaching Hospital, Northwest Ethiopia 
Virology Journal  2013;10:171.
Background
The co-existence of viral hepatitis caused by HBV and HCV become common causes of severe liver complication and immunological impairment among HIV infected individuals. The aim of this study was to assess the seroprevalence of HBV and HCV and their correlation with CD4 and liver enzyme levels among HAART naïve HIV positive individuals.
Method
A Cross-sectional study was conducted from March-May, 2011 at University of Gondar Teaching Hospital, Northwest Ethiopia. HBV and HCV serological tests and liver enzymes as well as CD4 T cell level determination were assessed following the standard procedures. Socio-demographic data was collected by using structured questionnaire. The data was entered and analyzed by using SPSS version 20.0 statistical software and p < 0.05 was considered as statistically significant.
Result
Among 400 study participants, the overall prevalence of HIV-viral hepatitis co-infection was 42(11.7%). The prevalence of HIV-HBV, HIV-HCV and HIV-HBV-HCV co-infections were 20(5.6%), 18(5.0%) and 4(1.1%) respectively. Study participants who had HIV-HBV, HIV-HCV and HIV-HBV-HCV co-infection have relatively raised mean liver enzyme levels (ALT, AST and ALP) than HIV mono-infected once. Individuals with HIV-HBV, HIV-HCV and HIV-HBV-HCV co-infection also had a lower mean CD4 levels than HIV mono-infected study participants. The mean CD4 value in males was lower than females.
Conclusion
The prevalence of HBV and HCV was higher than reports from general population of the country. Raised levels of liver enzymes and lowered mean CD4 counts were seen in HIV-HBV, HIV-HCV and HIV-HBV-HCV co-infections. These findings underscore the importance of screening all HIV positive individuals before initiating antiretroviral treatment.
doi:10.1186/1743-422X-10-171
PMCID: PMC3670208  PMID: 23721493
HBV; HCV; HIV; CD4 T cells; Liver enzymes
15.  Prevalence of human herpesvirus 8 (HHV8) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) in a rural community with high risk for blood borne infections in central China 
Former illegal blood donation in the past decade has caused HIV outbreaks in some rural areas in China. Other HIV associated virus infections, such as human herpesvirus 8 (HHV8) in such areas are still not well defined. In order to explore HHV8 and HCV seroprevalence and potential risk factors in such areas, a cross-sectional study with 305 HIV positive and 315 HIV negative subjects recruited from a rural county in Shanxi province was conducted, where illegal blood collection was reported. Interview questionnaires and serum testing were carried out with these participants. HCV and HHV8 seroprevalence were found to be higher in HIV positive than negative group (76.4% vs. 2.5%; 15.4% vs. 4.8% respectively), while the difference in HBV seroprevalence was not significant. Co-infection with HCV and HHV8 was also more prevalent in the HIV positive group. HIV status (odds ratio [OR], 2.71; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.16–6.30) and HBV status (OR, 2.56; 95%CI: 1.14–5.75) were independently associated with HHV8 infection. HIV status (OR, 23.03; 95%CI: 9.95–53.27) and blood/plasma selling history (OR, 14.57; 95%CI: 7.49–28.23) were strongly associated with HCV infection. These findings demonstrate that both HHV8 and HCV infections are prevalent in this community. HIV infection is an important risk factor for both HHV8 and HCV infection. HBV infection is associated with HHV8 infection but not with HCV infection. It is possible that HHV8 and HBV, but not HCV, may have similar mode of transmission in this population.
doi:10.1111/j.1469-0691.2010.03287.x
PMCID: PMC2952344  PMID: 20545961
HIV; HHV8; HCV; Illegal blood donor; Seroprevalence
16.  Sexual behaviour, recreational drug use and hepatitis C co-infection in HIV-diagnosed men who have sex with men in the United Kingdom: results from the ASTRA study 
Journal of the International AIDS Society  2014;17(4Suppl 3):19630.
Introduction
Transmission of Hepatitis C virus (HCV) among HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM) in the United Kingdom is ongoing. We explore associations between self-reported sexual behaviours and drug use with cumulative HCV prevalence, as well as new HCV diagnosis.
Methods
ASTRA is a cross-sectional questionnaire study including 2,248 HIV-diagnosed MSM under care in the United Kingdom during 2011–2012. Socio-demographic, lifestyle, HIV-related and sexual behaviour data were collected during the study. One thousand seven hundred and fifty two (≥70%) of the MSM who consented to linkage of ASTRA and clinical information (prior to and post questionnaire) were included. Cumulative prevalence of HCV was defined as any positive anti-HCV or HCV-RNA test result at any point prior to questionnaire completion. We excluded 536 participants with clinical records only after questionnaire completion. Among the remaining 1,216 MSM, we describe associations of self-reported sexual behaviours and recreational drug use in the three months prior to ASTRA with cumulative HCV prevalence, using modified Poisson regression with robust error variances. New HCV was defined as any positive anti-HCV or HCV-RNA after questionnaire completion. We excluded 591 MSM who reported ever having a HCV diagnosis at questionnaire, any positive HCV result prior to questionnaire or did not have any HCV tests after the questionnaire. Among the remaining 1,195 MSM, we describe occurrence of new HCV diagnosis during follow-up according to self-reported sexual behaviours and recreational drug use three months prior to questionnaire (Fisher's exact test).
Results
Cumulative HCV prevalence among MSM prior to ASTRA was 13.3% (95% CI 11.5–15.4). Clinic- and age-adjusted prevalence ratios (95% CI) for cumulative HCV prevalence were 4.6 (3.1–6.7) for methamphetamine, 6.5 (3.5–12.1) for injection drugs, 2.3 (1.6–3.4) for gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB), 1.6 (1.3–2.0) for nitrites, 1.7 (1.5–2.0) for all condom-less sex (CLS), 2.1 (1.7–2.5) for CLS-HIV-seroconcordant, 1.3 (0.9–1.9) for CLS-HIV-serodiscordant, 2.0 (1.6–2.5) for group sex, 1.5 (1.2–1.9) for more than 10 new sexual partners in the past year. Among 1,195 MSM with 2.2 years [IQR 1.5–2.4] median follow-up, there were 7 new HCV cases during 2,033 person-years at risk. Incidence was 3.5 per 1,000 person-years (95% CI 1.6–7.2). New HCV was recorded in 1.3% MSM who used methamphetamine versus 0.5% MSM who did not (p=0.385); 3.7% MSM who injected recreational drugs versus 0.5% MSM who did not (p=0.148); 2.9% MSM who used GHB versus 0.4% MSM who did not (p=0.003); 1.5% MSM who used nitrites versus 0.2% MSM who did not (p=0.019); 1.1% MSM having CLS versus 0.3% MSM who did not (p=0.084); 1.7% MSM having CLS-HIV-serodiscordant versus 0.4% MSM who did not (p=0.069); 0.9% MSM who had CLS-HIV-seroconcordant versus 0.5% MSM who did not (p=0.318); 0.8% MSM who had group sex versus 0.5% MSM who did not (p=0.463); and 1.6% MSM with =10 new sexual partners in the previous year versus 0.2% MSM with no or up to 9 new partners (p=0.015).
Conclusions
Self-reported recent use of recreational and injection drugs, condom-less sex and multiple new sexual partners are associated with pre-existing HCV infection and, with the exception of injection drugs, appear to be predictive of new HCV co-infection among HIV-diagnosed MSM.
doi:10.7448/IAS.17.4.19630
PMCID: PMC4224924  PMID: 25394134
17.  Molecular Characterization of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 and Hepatitis C Virus in Paid Blood Donors and Injection Drug Users in China 
Journal of Virology  2004;78(24):13591-13599.
China is facing a rapid upsurge in cases of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection due to large numbers of paid blood donors (PBD), injection drug users (IDU), and sexual partners of infected individuals. In this report, a total of 236 HIV-1-positive blood samples were collected from PBD, IDU, and their sexual partners in the most severely affected provinces, such as Henan, Yunnan, Guangxi, and Xinjiang. PCR was used to amplify the p17 region of gag and the C2-V3 region of env of HIV-1 and the 5′ noncoding region and a region of E1/E2 of HCV. Genetic characterization of viral sequences indicated that there are two major epidemics of HIV-1 and multiple HCV epidemics in China. The PBD and transfusion recipients in Henan harbored HIV-1 subtype B′, which is similar to the virus found in Thailand, and HCV genotypes 1b and 2a, whereas the IDU in Yunnan, Guangxi, and Xinjiang carried HIV-1 circulating recombinant forms 07 and 08, which resemble those in India, and HCV genotypes 1b, 3a, and 3b. Our findings show that the epidemics of HIV-1 and HCV infection in China are the consequences of multiple introductions. The distinct distribution patterns of both the HIV-1 and HCV genotypes in the different high-risk groups are tightly linked to the mode of transmission rather than geographic proximity. These findings provide information relevant to antiviral therapy and vaccine development in China and should assist public health workers in implementing measures to reduce the further dissemination of these viruses in the world's most populous nation.
doi:10.1128/JVI.78.24.13591-13599.2004
PMCID: PMC533913  PMID: 15564470
18.  Prevalence, Distribution, and Correlates of Hepatitis C Virus Infection Among Homeless Adults in Los Angeles 
Public Health Reports  2012;127(4):407-421.
SYNOPSIS
Objective
We documented the prevalence, distribution, and correlates of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among urban homeless adults.
Methods
We sampled a community-based probability sample of 534 homeless adults from 41 shelters and meal programs in the Skid Row area of downtown Los Angeles, California. Participants were interviewed and tested for HCV, hepatitis B, and HIV. Outcomes included prevalence, distribution, and correlates of HCV infection; awareness of HCV positivity; and HCV counseling and treatment history.
Results
Overall, 26.7% of the sample tested HCV-positive and 4.0% tested HIV-positive. In logistic regression analysis, independent predictors of HCV infection for the total sample included older age, less education, prison history, and single- and multiple-drug injection. Among lifetime drug injectors, independent predictors of HCV infection included older age, prison history, and no history of intranasal cocaine use. Among reported non-injectors, predictors of HCV infection included older age, less education, use of non-injection drugs, and three or more tattoos. Sexual behaviors and snorting or smoking drugs had no independent relationship with HCV infection. Among HCV-infected adults, nearly half (46.1%) were unaware of their infection.
Conclusions
Despite the high prevalence of HCV infection, nearly half of the cases were hidden and few had ever received any HCV-related treatment. While injection drug use was the strongest independent predictor, patterns of injection drug use, non-injection drug use, prison stays, and multiple tattoos were also independent predictors of HCV. Findings suggest that urgent interventions are needed to screen, counsel, and treat urban homeless adults for HCV infection.
PMCID: PMC3366378  PMID: 22753984
19.  Risk Behaviors, Prevalence of HIV and Hepatitis C Virus Infection and Population Size of Current Injection Drug Users in a China-Myanmar Border City: Results from a Respondent-Driven Sampling Survey in 2012 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(9):e106899.
Background
Injection drug use has been the major cause of HIV/AIDS in China in the past two decades. We measured the prevalences of HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) prevalence and their associated risk factors among current injection drug users (IDUs) in Ruili city, a border region connecting China with Myanmar that has been undergoing serious drug use and HIV spread problems. An estimate of the number of current IDUs is also presented.
Methods
In 2012, Chinese IDUs who had injected within the past six months and aged ≥18 years were recruited using a respondent-driven sampling (RDS) technique. Participants underwent interviews and serological testing for HIV, HBV, HCV and syphilis. Logistic regression indentified factors associated with HIV and HCV infections. Multiplier method was used to obtain an estimate of the size of the current IDU population via combining available service data and findings from our survey.
Results
Among 370 IDUs recruited, the prevalence of HIV and HCV was 18.3% and 41.5%, respectively. 27.1% of participants had shared a needle/syringe in their lifetime. Consistent condom use rates were low among both regular (6.8%) and non-regular (30.4%) partners. Factors independently associated with being HIV positive included HCV infection, having a longer history of injection drug use and experience of needle/syringe sharing. Participants with HCV infection were more likely to be HIV positive, have injected more types of drugs, have shared other injection equipments and have unprotected sex with regular sex partners. The estimated number of current IDUs in Ruili city was 2,714 (95% CI: 1,617–5,846).
Conclusions
IDUs may continue to be a critical subpopulation for transmission of HIV and other infections in this region because of the increasing population and persistent high risk of injection and sexual behaviours. Developing innovative strategies that can improve accessibility of current harm reduction services and incorporate more comprehensive contents is urgently needed.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0106899
PMCID: PMC4159231  PMID: 25203256
20.  Prevalence of Infection with Hepatitis B and C Viruses and Co-infection with HIV in Three Jails: A Case for Viral Hepatitis Prevention in Jails in the United States 
Hepatitis B vaccination and targeted testing for hepatitis C virus (HCV) are recommended for jails with medical services available. This study estimates hepatitis B virus (HBV) and HCV infection prevalence among jail inmates, since most previous studies have been conducted among prison inmates. Prison and jail populations differ: jails hold a wide spectrum of persons for an average of 10–20 days, including persons awaiting arraignment, trial, conviction, or sentencing, while prisons typically hold convicted criminals for at least 1 year. A stratified random sample of sera obtained during routine syphilis testing of inmates entering jails in Chicago (March–April 2000), Detroit (March–August 1999), and San Francisco (June 1999–December 2000) was tested for serologic markers of HBV and HCV infection. All sera had been previously tested for antibody to HIV (anti-HIV). A total of 1,292 serum samples (12% of new inmates) was tested. Antibody to HCV (anti-HCV) prevalence was 13%. Antibody to hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc) prevalence was 19%, and hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) prevalence was 0.9%; 12% had serologic evidence of hepatitis B vaccination. Hispanics had high rates of chronic HBV infection (3.6% HBsAg positive) along with Asians (4.7% HBsAg positive). Among HIV-infected persons, 38% were anti-HCV positive and 8.2% were HBsAg positive. Anti-HBc positivity was associated with anti-HCV positivity (aOR = 4.58), anti-HIV positivity (aOR = 2.94), syphilis infection (aOR = 2.10), and previous incarceration (aOR = 1.78). Anti-HCV-positivity was associated with anti-HBc positivity (aOR = 4.44), anti-HIV-positivity (aOR = 2.51), and previous incarceration (aOR = 2.90). Jail entrants had high levels of HCV and HBV infection and HIV co-infection; HBV prevalence was comparable to previous prison studies, and HCV prevalence was lower than prison studies. Hispanics had an unexpectedly high rate of chronic hepatitis B infection and had the lowest rate of hepatitis B vaccination. The finding that hepatitis B vaccination coverage among jail entrants is lower than the general population, despite this population’s increased risk for infection, highlights the need to support vaccination in jail settings.
doi:10.1007/s11524-008-9305-8
PMCID: PMC2629523  PMID: 18622707
Viral hepatitis; Co-infections; Correctional facilities
21.  Prevalent and Incident Hepatitis C Virus Infection Among HIV-Infected Men Who Have Sex With Men Engaged in Primary Care in a Boston Community Health Center 
This study found a high incidence of hepatitis C virus infection among a sample of human immunodeficiency virus–infected men who have sex with men engaged in primary care in Boston, Massachusetts, in the absence of traditional risk factors such as injection drug use.
Background. Sexually transmitted hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is an emerging epidemic among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–infected men who have sex with men (MSM). HCV may be underrecognized in this population, historically thought to be at low risk.
Methods. We determined the prevalence and incidence of HCV among HIV-infected men at Fenway Health between 1997 and 2009. We describe characteristics associated with HCV.
Results. Of 1171 HIV-infected men, of whom 96% identify as MSM, 1068 (91%) were screened for HCV and 64 (6%) had a positive HCV antibody (Ab) result at initial screening. Among the 995 men whose initial HCV Ab result was negative, 62% received no further HCV Ab testing. Among the 377 men who had ≥1 additional HCV Ab test, 23 (6%) seroconverted over 1408 person-years, for an annualized incidence of 1.63 per 100 person-years (95% confidence interval, .97–2.30). Among the 87 HIV-infected MSM diagnosed with prevalent or incident HCV, 33% reported history of injection drug use, 46% noninjection drug use (NIDU), and 70% sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Sixty-four (74%) of HCV-infected MSM developed chronic HCV; 22 (34%) initiated HCV treatment and 13 (59%) of treated persons achieved a sustained virologic response (SVR).
Conclusions. Prevalent and incident HCV, primarily acquired through nonparenteral means, was common in this HIV-infected population despite engagement in care. STIs and NIDU were common among HIV/HCV-coinfected MSM. SVR rates were high among those who underwent HCV treatment. All sexually active and/or substance-using HIV-infected MSM should receive routine and repeated HCV screening to allow for early diagnosis and treatment of HCV.
doi:10.1093/cid/cit054
PMCID: PMC3634307  PMID: 23386630
HIV; hepatitis C virus; men who have sex with men; screening; incidence
22.  Risk factors associated with Hepatitis C among female substance users enrolled in community-based HIV prevention studies 
BMC Research Notes  2011;4:126.
Background
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is one of the most frequent chronic blood-borne infections in the United States. The epidemiology of HCV transmission is not completely understood, particularly in women and minorities.
Findings
We examined the HCV associated risk factors in substance abusing females involved in National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) funded HIV prevention studies of street recruited women. As a part of the 12 month follow-up, participants were interviewed about substance use and sexual risk behaviors, including drug implement sharing practices, tattoos, body piercing and blood transfusions and the sharing of personal hygiene equipment including tweezers, toothbrushes and razors. Urine and blood testing for HCV antibody (Ab), HIV and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) was conducted at the time of assessment.
Among 782 predominantly African American women, 162 (21%) tested positive for HCV Ab. Older age (p < 0.001), history of injection drug use (p < 0.001), lifetime crack cocaine use (p = 0.004) and having a tattoo (p = 0.01) were significantly associated with HCV Ab positivity. Other risk factors previously reported in association with HCV Ab positivity such as sexual risk behaviors were not significantly associated with the presence of a positive HCV Ab.
Conclusions
This large community based sample of predominantly African American substance abusing women showed high prevalence of HCV Ab positivity and low awareness of their HCV serostatus. Our study demonstrated that in addition to intravenous drug use (IDU), other factors were significantly associated with HCV Ab positivity such as having a tattoo and a lifetime history of crack use. Other potential routes of HCV transmission should be further studied among high risk female populations.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-126
PMCID: PMC3095996  PMID: 21492467
23.  HCV co-infection in HIV positive population in British Columbia, Canada 
BMC Public Health  2010;10:225.
Background
As HIV and hepatitis C (HCV) share some modes of transmission co-infection is not uncommon. This study used a population-based sample of HIV and HCV tested individuals to determine the prevalence of HIV/HCV co-infection, the sequence of virus diagnoses, and demographic and associated risk factors.
Methods
Positive cases of HIV were linked to the combined laboratory database (of negative and positive HCV antibody results) and HCV reported cases in British Columbia (BC).
Results
Of 4,598 HIV cases with personal identifiers, 3,219 (70%) were linked to the combined HCV database, 1,700 (53%) of these were anti-HCV positive. HCV was diagnosed first in 52% of co-infected cases (median time to HIV identification 3 1/2 years). HIV and HCV was diagnosed within a two week window in 26% of cases. Among individuals who were diagnosed with HIV infection at baseline, subsequent diagnoses of HCV infection was independently associated with: i) intravenous drug use (IDU) in males and females, Hazard Ratio (HR) = 6.64 (95% CI: 4.86-9.07) and 9.76 (95% CI: 5.76-16.54) respectively; ii) reported Aboriginal ethnicity in females HR = 2.09 (95% CI: 1.34-3.27) and iii) males not identified as men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM), HR = 2.99 (95% CI: 2.09-4.27).
Identification of HCV first compared to HIV first was independently associated with IDU in males and females OR = 2.83 (95% CI: 1.84-4.37) and 2.25 (95% CI: 1.15-4.39) respectively, but not Aboriginal ethnicity or MSM. HIV was identified first in 22%, with median time to HCV identification of 15 months;
Conclusion
The ability to link BC public health and laboratory HIV and HCV information provided a unique opportunity to explore demographic and risk factors associated with HIV/HCV co-infection. Over half of persons with HIV infection who were tested for HCV were anti-HCV positive; half of these had HCV diagnosed first with HIV identification a median 3.5 years later. This highlights the importance of public health follow-up and harm reduction measures for people identified with HCV to prevent subsequent HIV infection.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-225
PMCID: PMC2868820  PMID: 20429917
24.  The seroprevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) among 559,890 first-time volunteer blood donors in China reflects regional heterogeneity in HCV prevalence and changes in blood donor recruitment models 
Transfusion  2010;50(7):1505-1511.
Background
A decrease in the prevalence of hepatitis C virus antibody (anti-HCV) has been reported among voluntary blood donors in some regions of China. However, the prevalence of HCV among volunteer blood donors in other regions of China has not been reported. The aim of this study was to investigate the seroprevalence of HCV among 559,890 first-time volunteer blood donors recruited during 2004 through 2007 at the Guangzhou Blood Center, China.
Study Design and Methods
Anti-HCV was detected using two different third-generation enzyme immunoassay kits. HCV RNA was detected using reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) targeting the 5′-untranslated region of HCV.
Results
Among 559,890 donors, 1877 (0.335%) were positive for anti-HCV. The anti-HCV+ rate was significantly higher in males than females (0.37% vs. 0.28%; p < 0.001) and significantly lower among donors living in Guangdong Province than donors who had migrated from other locations (0.30% vs. 0.40%; p < 0.001). Among the 1877 anti-HCV+ donors, 450 were randomly selected for HCV nucleic acid amplification by RT-PCR. Of these, 270 (60%) were HCV RNA+ and 180 (40%) were HCV RNA–.
Conclusions
Many donors from outside Guangdong Province were migrant laborers from other areas in China, suggesting that there is regional heterogenicity in HCV prevalence within China. The overall anti-HCV+ rate reported here is among the lowest reported among blood donors in China reflecting the effect of the current recruitment of exclusively volunteer donors.
doi:10.1111/j.1537-2995.2010.02616.x
PMCID: PMC3743680  PMID: 20456675
25.  Prevalence and trend of hepatitis C virus infection among blood donors in Chinese mainland: a systematic review and meta-analysis 
Background
Blood transfusion is one of the most common transmission pathways of hepatitis C virus (HCV). This paper aims to provide a comprehensive and reliable tabulation of available data on the epidemiological characteristics and risk factors for HCV infection among blood donors in Chinese mainland, so as to help make prevention strategies and guide further research.
Methods
A systematic review was constructed based on the computerized literature database. Infection rates and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were calculated using the approximate normal distribution model. Odds ratios and 95% CI were calculated by fixed or random effects models. Data manipulation and statistical analyses were performed using STATA 10.0 and ArcGIS 9.3 was used for map construction.
Results
Two hundred and sixty-five studies met our inclusion criteria. The pooled prevalence of HCV infection among blood donors in Chinese mainland was 8.68% (95% CI: 8.01%-9.39%), and the epidemic was severer in North and Central China, especially in Henan and Hebei. While a significant lower rate was found in Yunnan. Notably, before 1998 the pooled prevalence of HCV infection was 12.87% (95%CI: 11.25%-14.56%) among blood donors, but decreased to 1.71% (95%CI: 1.43%-1.99%) after 1998. No significant difference was found in HCV infection rates between male and female blood donors, or among different blood type donors. The prevalence of HCV infection was found to increase with age. During 1994-1995, the prevalence rate reached the highest with a percentage of 15.78% (95%CI: 12.21%-19.75%), and showed a decreasing trend in the following years. A significant difference was found among groups with different blood donation types, Plasma donors had a relatively higher prevalence than whole blood donors of HCV infection (33.95% vs 7.9%).
Conclusions
The prevalence of HCV infection has rapidly decreased since 1998 and kept a low level in recent years, but some provinces showed relatively higher prevalence than the general population. It is urgent to make efficient measures to prevent HCV secondary transmission and control chronic progress, and the key to reduce the HCV incidence among blood donors is to encourage true voluntary blood donors, strictly implement blood donation law, and avoid cross-infection.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-11-88
PMCID: PMC3079653  PMID: 21477324
hepatitis C virus; infection; blood donors; meta-analysis

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