Changing seroprevalence of hepatitis C virus infection among HIV-positive patients in Taiwan

Chia Wen Li, Chia Jui Yang, Hsin Yun Sun, Mao Song Tsai, Shih Ping Lin, Te Yu Lin, Chien Yu Cheng, Yi Chien Lee, Yu Shan Huang, Chun Eng Liu, Yuan Ti Lee, Hung Jen Tang, Ning Chi Wang, Shu Hsing Cheng, Wen Chien Ko, Chien Ching Hung

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Objective The study aimed to describe the evolution of the seroprevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive patients included in two cohorts in Taiwan. Methods We retrospectively collected the information on demographic and clinical characteristics of 4,025 and 3,856 HIV-positive Taiwanese, who were aged 18 years or older at designated hospitals around Taiwan in 2004±2007, when an outbreak of HIV infection was occurring, and 2012±2016, when the outbreak was controlled with the implementation of harm reduction program, respectively. Comparisons of HCV seropositivity were made among different age and risk groups for HIV transmission between these two cohorts. Results The overall HCV seroprevalence of the 2004±2007 cohort and 2012±2016 cohort was 43.4% (1,288/2,974) and 18.6% (707/3,793), respectively (P<0.001). The HCV seroprevalence among injecting drug users (IDUs), though decreasing, was constantly high across the two cohorts, 96.4% and 94.0% (P = 0.02), respectively, and all age groups. In contrast, the corresponding figures among men who have sex with men (MSM) and heterosexuals in the two cohorts were 5.9% vs. 3.5% (P = 0.002) and 9.4% vs. 10.9% (P = 0.59), respectively. Among sexually transmitted HIV-positive patients, HCV seropositivity was significantly correlated with age (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], per 1-year increase, 1.03; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.02±1.05) and a rapid plasma reagin (RPR) titer ≥1:8 (aOR, 1.58; 95% CI, 1.03±2.43) in a multivariate analysis including age, gender, route for HIV transmission, baseline CD4 count and plasma HIV RNA load, the presence of hepatitis B surface antigen, and an RPR titer ≥1:8. Compared with heterosexuals, the aOR for HCV seropositivity among MSM was 0.47 (95% CI, 0.31±0.72). Conclusions HCV seroprevalence among HIV-positive patients in Taiwan decreased with time, probably related to the inclusion of younger adults and more non-IDUs, and remained high among IDUs. HCV seropositivity was associated with age and an RPR titer ≥1:8 among patients who acquired HIV through sexual contact.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0194149
JournalPloS one
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Mar

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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