Objective: A novel virus, GB virus C (GBV-C)/hepatitis G virus (HGV), has been isolated. This virus is parenterally transmissible, but its effect on various diseases remains to be disclosed. We investigated the effect of GBV-C/HGV coinfection on the course of HIV infection.
Methods: GBV-C/HGV RNA was measured by nested reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in 41 HIV-infected hemophilia patients in Japan. Patient characteristics, HIV RNA concentrations, and rates of progression to AIDS and to death were compared in patients with and without GBV-C/HGV coinfection. HIV RNA was quantified by the Amplicor HIV Monitor test (Roche Molecular Systems, Somerville, NJ, U.S.A.), and progression to AIDS and to death was analyzed using Kaplan-Meier plots.
Results: GBV-C/HGV infection was present in 11 of 41 of patients (26.8%). Mean HIV RNA concentration was lower in patients with GBV-C/HGV coinfection (3.52± 4.81 x 104 copies/ml) than in patients without coinfection (5.76± 14.78 x 104 copies/ml) and progression to AIDS and to death were slower in patients with GBV-C/HGV coinfection than patients without it, although the differences were not statistically significant.
Conclusion: In Japanese hemophilia patients, coinfection with GBV-C/HGV does not have an adverse effect on the course of HIV infection.