A study based in London involving men with HIV and Hepatitis C (HCV) co-infection has shown that, despite clearing their primary infection either spontaneously or with treatment, one quarter of participants was reinfected with HCV. In some cases reinfection occurred up to three times. Retrospective research conducted in the Netherlands has confirmed very high rates of HCV reinfection among gay men who are HIV positive.
The results, also presented at the 7th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention (IAS 2013) in Malaysia, call for better education for HIV positive men who have sex with other men (MSM).
“These results emphasize the need for effective sexual education for HIV-positive MSM presenting with primary HCV infection and the implementation of preventative interventions to reduce the risk of re-infection,” the investigators suggested.
Liver disease, which is mainly a result of coinfection with HCV, is an increasingly important cause of serious illness and fatality in the HIV positive community. Those involved in the study and subsequent retrospective research agrees that greater awareness is key to reducing reinfection and transmission of HCV.
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