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Int J Mol Med. 2008 Mar;21(3):387-95.

Epidemiological, immunological and virological characteristics, and disease progression of HIV-1/HCV-co-infected patients from a southern Brazilian population.

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  • 1Health Sciences Center, Department of Pathology, Clinical Analysis and Toxicology, University Hospital of Londrina State University, CEP 86038-440, Londrina, ParanĂ¡, Brazil. reiche@sercomtel.com.br


A cross-sectional study was carried out in order to describe the epidemiological, immunological and virological characteristics, and the disease progression of hepatitis C virus (HCV)/human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)- co-infected patients from a southern Brazilian population. Of 778 HIV-1-infected individuals enrolled in the study from September 2001 to December 2003, and followed up until June 2004, 757 were tested for anti-HCV antibodies. Of these, 159 (21.0%) showed positive results for anti-HCV. Males, individuals in the 25 to 34 year age range, and individuals of lower economic levels were more likely to be seropositive for both viruses [prevalence rate (PR), 2.04; 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 1.43-2.92; p<0.001]. The anti-HCV reactivity was also associated with blood routes of transmission (PR, 2.20; 95% CI, 1.28-3.77; p<0.001), intravenous drug use (PR, 5.79; 95% CI, 4.74-7.07; p<0.001), self-reported previous sexually transmitted diseases (PR, 1.55; 95% CI, 1.18-2.04; p=0.002), VDRL positivity (PR, 2.87; 95% CI, 2.40-3.43; p<0.001), and anti-HTLV I/II reactivity (PR, 5.09; 95% CI, 4.16-6.23; p<0.001). In the follow-up period, the HCV/HIV-1-co-infected patients showed a trend toward lower CD4+ T-cell counts, higher HIV-1 RNA plasma viral load and faster disease progression than patients infected only with HIV-1, but significant differences were not observed. Although there were proportionately more deaths in the HCV/HIV-1-co-infected group, the use of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) was a string predictor of increased CD4+ T-cell counts and decreased HIV-1 RNA plasma levels, suggesting that HAART is more important to the immunological and virological outcomes in HIV-1 infection than is HCV co-infection status.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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