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J Formos Med Assoc. 2008 May;107(5):404-11. doi: 10.1016/S0929-6646(08)60106-0.

Seroprevalence of viral hepatitis and sexually transmitted disease among adults with recently diagnosed HIV infection in Southern Taiwan, 2000-2005: upsurge in hepatitis C virus infections among injection drug users.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan.



The purpose of this study was to compare the seroprevalence of viral hepatitis and sexually transmitted disease (STD) co-infections among three populations at risk recently diagnosed with HIV infection.


A retrospective review of medical records was performed to determine the prevalence of several co-infections among adults recently diagnosed with HIV infection between 2000 and 2005 at National Cheng Kung University Hospital in Tainan, Taiwan.


Among a total of 484 adults, 124 (25.6%) were men having sex with men (MSM), 105 (21.7%) were heterosexual adults, and 255 (52.7%) were injection drug users (IDUs). The case number of adults with recently diagnosed HIV infection increased annually, from 27 in 2000 to 142 in 2005 (p < 0.001). This trend appeared to be attributable to the upsurge in HIV infection among IDUs beginning in 2003. At the time of HIV diagnosis, mean CD4+ counts were significantly higher and plasma HIV-1 RNA loads were lower in the IDU group than the MSM or heterosexual groups. The hepatitis B virus (HBV) carrier rate was similar in all three groups, with an average rate of 16.5%. The prevalence of treponemal antibody and Entamoeba histolytica indirect hemagglutination antibody was higher in MSM (37.5% and 9.4%, respectively) than in heterosexuals (19.6% and 7.3%, respectively) or IDUs (3.2% and 2.1%). The seroprevalence of hepatitis A virus infection increased with age, with 94.2% (97/103) of patients who were older than 40 years. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) or HBV-HCV co-infections were noted more often in IDUs (97.9% and 16.9%, respectively) than in heterosexuals (10.9% and 2.2%, respectively) and MSM (5.3% and 3.6%, respectively).


There was a recent upsurge in HIV-HCV co-infected IDUs in southern Taiwan. A higher rate of co-infection with STDs among HIV-infected MSM highlights the need for integrated STD control efforts in current HIV prevention programs.

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