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Transmission of HCV in HIV-positive populations

Danta, Marka; Rodger, Alison J.b

Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS: November 2011 - Volume 6 - Issue 6 - p 451–458
doi: 10.1097/COH.0b013e32834b4974
HIV and hepatitis C coinfection: Edited by Jürgen Rockstroh and Gail Matthews

Purpose of review The epidemiology of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in HIV has changed significantly over the past decade. This review will outline the current epidemiology of HCV in HIV infection, focusing on the recent changes and factors which have been related to the increase in HCV transmission in HIV-infected men who have sex with men (MSM).

Recent findings Since 2000 there has been recognition in the postindustrialized world that there has been a dramatic rise in the incidence of HCV in HIV-infected MSM. Whereas sexual transmission of HCV remains controversial in the general population, there is increasing evidence that permucosal (sexual and mucosally administered drugs) rather than parenteral risks have become key factors in HCV transmission in HIV-infected MSM. At the most basic level, transmission depends on disruption of a barrier and exposure to infected fluids, usually blood. Whereas transmission factors are often closely entwined, they can be characterized as behavioural and biological factors.

Summary With an improved understanding of the epidemiology of HCV in this population, interventions by relevant health authorities could be better focused.

aSt Vincent's Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

bDepartment of HIV Medicine, Royal Free and University College School of Medicine, University College London, London, UK

Correspondence to Dr Mark Danta, St Vincent's Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine, St Vincent's Hospital, Darlinghurst, Sydney, NSW, Australia E-mail:

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.