The sexual transmission of Hepatitis C virus is debated.
By excluding other risk factors, the role of sexual intercourse in the transmission may be detected more accurately.
Dr Tahan and colleagues from Turkey screened for prevalence and risk factors for Hepatitis C in the spouses of chronic Hepatitis C patients and followed the seroconversion rate of anti-Hepatitis C negative spouses.
The research team recruited 600 spouses of chronic Hepatitis C patients.
The spouses' Hepatitis C risk factors were questioned and the spouses were tested for anti-Hepatitis C.
| Anti-Hepatitis C was found positive in 2% of the spouses|
|American Journal of Gastroenterology|
The team checked the 216 spouses who were anti- Hepatitis C negative on an annual basis for anti- Hepatitis C.
The investigators noted that anti- Hepatitis C was positive in 12 of 600 of the spouses.
Of the 12 anti-Hepatitis C positive spouses, 11 were Hepatitis C-RNA positive.
The researchers also reported that of the anti- Hepatitis C positive and negative spouse groups, the mean age was 52 and 50 years with a mean marriage duration of 1521 and 1532 weeks, respectively.
The number of total sexual intercourse in the 2 groups was 434 and 307, respectively.
In addition, the research team observed that none of the spouses developed anti- Hepatitis C seroconversion during a mean period of 36 months and 258 sexual intercourses.
Dr Tahan concludes, “Anti-Hepatitis C was found positive in 2% of the spouses and none of the seronegative spouses developed seroconversion in the 3 year follow-up period.”
“This is the first study that stresses the importance of the total number of sexual intercourse in sexual transmission.”
“Our results of a special monogamous group with very limited risk factors support the role of number of total sexual intercourse in Hepatitis C transmission.”
“However, the seroprevalence rate of the spouses was still within the upper limit of our country population.”