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J Med Virol. 1998 Aug;55(4):293-9.

Prevalence and genotypes of GB virus C/hepatitis G virus (GBV-C/HGV) and hepatitis C virus among patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus: evidence of GBV-C/HGV sexual transmission.

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Fundació IRSI-CAIXA, Laboratori de Retrovirologia, Hospital Universitari Germans Trias i Pujol, Badalona, Spain.


The development of new antiretroviral agents may improve survival of HIV-infected individuals, and therefore chronic viral hepatitis may become more relevant in these patients. The presence of GBV-C/HGV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA were investigated by reverse transcriptase-nested polymerase chain reaction in plasma from 168 Spanish HIV-infected patients belonging to four different risk groups: intravenous drug users (IVDUs), hemophiliacs, homosexuals, and heterosexuals. GBV-C/HGV-RNA and HCV-RNA were detected in 18% and 43% of the patients, respectively. The prevalence of current infection with these viruses was notably high, 19% for GBV-C/HGV and 69% for HCV, among individuals with parenteral risk of infection (intravenous drug abusers and hemophiliacs), but sexual transmission with GBV-C/HGV was also suggested because 16.5% of patients with sexual risk, either homosexual or heterosexual, had GBV-C/HGV-RNA in plasma. Although investigation of GBV-C/HGV-RNA possibly underestimates the actual prevalence of infection with GBV-C/HGV, the above data suggest that sexual contact may play a relevant role in the spread of this virus. Phylogenetic analysis showed no evidence for clustering of NS3 sequences into different genotypes or subtypes of GBV-C/HGV.

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