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Title

LOW PREVALENCE OF HEPATITIS C VIRUS INFECTION AMONG HIV-POSITIVE PATIENTS: DATA FROM A LARGE-SCALE COHORT STUDY IN ISTANBUL, TURKEY

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Abstract

 Background: Rate of coinfection with HUMAN IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS (HIV) and HEPATITIS C VIRUS (HCV) varies in different countries. This may be attributable to common transmission routes as well as social, economic and cultural factors.Objectives: The purpose of this study was to investigate the PREVALENCE and risk factors of HCV infection among HIV-positive patients in Istanbul, TURKEY.Patients and Methods: Since January 2006 to November 2013, 949 HIV-positive patients that were enrolled in this study by ACTHIV-IST (Action Against HIV in Istanbul) Study Group, which consists of five centers to follow up HIV-positive patients in Istanbul. Epidemiologic and clinical data were collected retrospectively from medical records and were transferred to an HIV database system.Results: Among 949 patients, 84% were men and the mean age was 37.92±11.54 years (range, 17-79). The most frequent route of transmission was heterosexual intercourse (48.8%), followed by men having sex with men (30.5%). Only nine patients (0.9%) had history of injection drug use (IDU). The PREVALENCE of HIV/HCV coinfection was 0.9% (9:949). The IDU rate was 44.4% (4:9) in patients with HIV/HCV coinfection (three of them were not Turkish citizens), whereas this rate was only 0.6% (5:881) in patients with only HIV infection (P<0.01). Genotypes 1b, 2a/2c, and 3 were determined in five, one, and two patients, respectively. Genotype could not be determined in one patient. History of residence in a foreign country (P<0.01) and imprisonment (P<0.01) were also considered as risk factors in terms of HIV/HCV coinfection.Conclusions: PREVALENCE of HIV/HCV coinfection is considerably low in TURKEY. The extremely rare PREVALENCE of IDU might have a role in this low PREVALENCE.

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