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 16 January 2018

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News

Public health strategies need to improve HIV testing in Hep C

Although a substantial proportion of Hep C patients have been tested for HIV, missed opportunities for early diagnosis of HIV exist, reports this month's Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology.

News image

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Although HIV testing is recommended for persons with Hepatitis C infection who are at risk for HIV, little is known about HIV testing in this population.

Dr Edmund Bini and colleagues prospectively collected data in 4364 Hepatitis C-infected patients at 24 Veterans Affairs medical centers across the United States.

The research team also assessed demographics, risk factors for HIV infection, and self-reported information on HIV testing.

Overall, 77% had been tested for HIV at least once.

The team noted 15% were never tested, 7% did not know if they were tested, and 2% declined to answer.

77% had been tested for HIV at least once
Journal of Clinical Oncology

Multivariable analysis identified injection drug use, and needlestick injury were independently associated with HIV testing.

The researchers found that sex with a same-sex partner, and a greater number of lifetime sexual partners were associated with HIV testing.

Sex with an injection drug user was a factor independently associated with HIV testing.

The researchers observed that at least 1 risk factor for HIV infection was present in 85% of the 646 patients who were never HIV tested.

Among the 3350 subjects who were tested for HIV, 8% were positive, and 88% were negative.

The team noted that a further 2% did not know the results of their test, and less than 1% declined to answer.

Multivariable analysis identified African American and Hispanic race/ethnicity, and an income of $10,000 or less was associated with HIV seropositivity.

Sex with a same-sex partner, and sex with an injection drug user as the only variables that were independently associated with HIV seropositivity.

Dr Bini's concludes, “Although a substantial proportion of Hepatitis C-infected patients have been tested for HIV, missed opportunities for early diagnosis of HIV infection exist.”

“Public health strategies to improve HIV testing among patients with chronic Hepatitis C infection are needed.”

J Clin Gastroenterol 2006: 40(8): 732-9
08 September 2006

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