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J Infect Dis. 2007 Jul 15;196(2):230-8. Epub 2007 Jun 11.

Increase in HCV incidence among men who have sex with men in Amsterdam most likely caused by sexual transmission.

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Department of Infectious Diseases, Health Service Amsterdam, 1000 CE Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


We retrospectively screened 1836 men who have sex with men (MSM) participating in the Amsterdam Cohort Studies (1984-2003) for hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibodies. HCV incidence was 0.18/100 person-years (PY) in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive MSM (8/4408 PY [95% confidence interval {CI}, 0.08-0.36]) but was 0/100 PY in MSM without HIV (0/7807 PY [95% CI, 0.00-0.05]). After 2000, HCV incidence among HIV-positive men increased 10-fold to 0.87/100 PY (5/572 PY [95% CI, 0.28-2.03]). Additional hospital cases (n=34) showed that MSM in Amsterdam who acquired HCV infection after 2000 reported high rates of ulcerative sexually transmitted infections (59%) and rough sexual techniques (56%), denied injection drug use, and were infected mainly with the difficult-to-treat HCV genotypes 1 (56%) and 4 (36%). Phylogenetic analysis showed 3 monophyletic clusters of MSM-specific HCV strains. The emergence of an MSM-specific transmission network suggests that HIV-positive MSM with high-risk sexual behaviors are at risk for sexually acquired HCV. Targeted prevention and routine HCV screening among HIV-positive MSM is needed to deter the spread of HCV.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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