Co-Infection by Hepatitis C Virus in HIV-Infected Patients in Southern Brazil: Genotype Distribution and Clinical Correlates
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BACKGROUND: Prevalence rates of hepatitis C virus (HCV) co-infection, the distribution of HCV genotypes, and the frequency of spontaneous resolution of hepatitis C in patients infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) have a worldwide disparity. The purpose of this study is to investigate the prevalence of HCV antibodies (anti-HCV) in patients with HIV, the proportion and correlates of infection by different HCV genotypes, and rates of spontaneous resolution of HCV infection. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 1143 HIV patients under follow-up in a HIV/AIDS outpatient reference center of the Brazilian public health system. From 357 anti-HCV positive patients, a consecutive sample of 227 individuals HCV treatment-naïve was interviewed and 207 was tested for HCV-RNA and genotypes. RESULTS: Anti-HCV was detected in 357 patients (31.2%). HCV-RNA was undetectable in 16.4% of 207 anti-HCV positive individuals. Genotype 1 was diagnosed in 81.5% of the sample, genotype 2 in 1.7% and genotype 3 in 16.2%. Male gender was the unique characteristic associated with higher prevalence of genotype 1 HCV. CONCLUSIONS: Co-infection by HCV is frequent among patients with HIV in our State, and it is particularly high the infection by HCV genotype 1. Further investigation is necessary to explain the important regional variation in the proportion of infection by the different HCV genotypes and to better understand rates of spontaneous HCV clearance.
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