Heterosexual and homosexual transmission of hepatitis C virus: Relation with hepatitis B virus and human immunodeficiency virus type 1

R. Corona, G. Prignano, A. Mele, G. Gentile, F. Caprilli, E. Franco, L. Ferrigno, A. Giglio, F. Titti, C. Bruno, P. Verani, P. Pasquini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A seroprevalence study was carried out on 1757 outpatients consecutively seen in a sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinic in order to evaluate the sexual transmission of hepatitis C virus (HCV). A total of 1442 consenting patients were tested for hepatitis C, hepatitis B and human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HCV, HBV, HIV-1) antibodies. The relations between anti-HCV, anti-HBc and anti-HIV-1 were studied. Of 73 anti-HCV positive reactions, 45 (61.6%) were confirmed by the recombinant immunoblot assay (RIBA). The proportion of individuals with anti-HCV was higher in outpatients with a history of sexually transmitted disease than without. It was 2.8% in non drug user heterosexuals and 2.9% in non drug user homosexuals. Intravenous drug users (IDU) had higher anti-HCV prevalence when a history of STD was taken into account (42.3% in subjects with STD versus 36.7% in subjects without STD). Among non drug user heterosexuals an association was found between anti-HCV and anti-HBc. These data suggest that sexual transmission of HCV occurs, although it seems to be less efficient than other parenteral modes of transmission. When a more sensitive and specific marker of HCV infection becomes available, a more accurate estimate of the frequency and efficiency of the sexual transmission will be possible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)667-672
Number of pages6
JournalEpidemiology and Infection
Volume107
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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