Risk factors for hepatitis C virus infection among nonintravenous-drug- using heterosexuals attending a clinic for sexually transmitted disease in Italy

Rosamaria Corona, Federico Caprilli, Maria Elena Tosti, Giulio Gentili, Elisabetta Franco, Laura Zaratti, Guido Palamara, Amalia Giglio, Grazia Prignano, Tommaso Stroffolini, Paolo Pasquini, Maria Grazia Rastelli, Alfonso Mele

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: To evaluate prevalence of and risk factors for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and the role of genital ulcer disease in the sexual transmission of HCV among 1280 nonintravenous-drug-using heterosexuals attending a sexually transmitted disease clinic. Methods: Serum samples were tested by a third-generation enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test. Reactive sera were confirmed using a RIBA assay. The independent effect of different variables on the likelihood to be anti-HCV positive was assessed by multiple logistic regression analysis. Results: The overall anti-HCV prevalence was 4.9%, a rate nearly ten times as high as the 0.5% recently found in a national sample of young male adults 18 to 26 years old. The prevalence was 9.6% in subjects with positive syphilis serology and 3.8% in those without a history of sexually transmitted disease. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that age greater than 34 years (OR 2.9; 95% Cl 1.1-7.6), low educational level (OR 2.0; 95% Cl 1.1-3.5), positive syphilis serology (OR 2.1; 95% Cl 1.04-4.1), and anti-HIV positivity (OR 4.6; 95% Cl 1.2-18.7) were all independent predictors of HCV infection. Conclusions: These findings are consistent with sexual transmission of HCV. Syphilis infection may be a cofactor in HCV transmission or, alternatively, may be a strong indicator of high-risk sexual behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-8
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Infectious Diseases
Volume2
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1997

Keywords

  • Hepatitis C
  • Heterosexuals
  • Sexual transmission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)

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