No decline in HCV rates among HIV-positive men who have sex with men
Hepatitis C incidence among HIV-positive men who have sex with men has shown no significant decline in Europe, though the trends differ by geographical region and age, according to results of a recently published study.
“While HCV incidence appears to have stabilized in Western Europe and remained stable in Southern Europe, a recent increase in HCV incidence was observed in Northern Europe,” the researchers wrote. “Interestingly, higher HIV RNA levels, recent HIV infection and younger age were associated with higher HCV incidence. The time from HIV seroconversion to HCV infection has significantly shortened in recent years. Hence, routine and continued surveillance following HIV diagnosis is needed.” Read more
Rise of HCV among reproductive-age women suggests need for screening
A recent substantial increase in hepatitis C virus infection among reproduction-aged women in the United States highlights a need for routine HCV screening during pregnancy, according to recent data published in Annals Internal Medicine.
“The prevalence of HCV infection among pregnant women has been difficult to determine, because HCV screening is not performed routinely in this population but rather is risk based,” Kathleen N. Ly, MPH, from the Division of Viral Hepatitis at the CDC, and colleagues wrote. “As a result, many HCV infections may go undetected because of under-recognition of risk behaviors, as well as concerns about stigmatization or legal consequences if risk behaviors are disclosed.” Read more
HCV prevalence lower in Iran vs. other Middle Eastern countries
The seroprevalence of hepatitis C virus is lower in Iran compared with other countries in the Middle East, according to the results of a systematic review and meta-analysis. However, investigators found significant heterogeneity across studies, and thus concluded their evidence is limited.
“Our results demonstrate that the overall prevalence of HCV infection among [the] Iranian general population is relatively low compared to other developing countries,” they wrote. “However, the significant heterogeneity among included studies limits this conclusion. Therefore, further high-quality studies are recommended to provide more robust evidence on the prevalence of HCV among [the] general population.” Read more
Inclusive criteria, generic drugs effective for HCV in limited resource nations
Researchers from the University of Cairo analyzed the rates of sustained virologic response among patients with hepatitis C in Egypt since the introduction of direct-acting antivirals to share data on the planning and prioritization of treatment in a nation with limited resources and high prevalence of HCV.