Prevalence, genotype distribution, and risk factors for hepatitis C infection among HIV-infected individuals in Slovenia: a 1986-2013 update

Published: June 23, 2014

Abstract

Introduction: Since the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy, chronic hepatitis C has become one of the leading causes of non-AIDS-related morbidity and mortality in patients with HIV infection. Two previous Slovenian nationwide studies published in 2002 and 2009 showed a very low prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among Slovenian HIV-infected individuals (14.5% and 10.7%, respectively). Methods and results: The presence of HCV infection was tested in 579/639 (90.6%) patients that were confirmed as HIV-positive in Slovenia by the end of 2013. Among them, 7.6% (44/579) of HIV-infected individuals were anti-HCV-positive, and 33/44 (75%) anti-HCV-positive patients were also HCV RNA-positive. HCV genotype 1 was most prevalent among HIV-infected patients (68%), followed by genotype 3 (20%), genotype 4 (8%), and genotype 2 (4%). Anti-HCV positivity was significantly higher in those that acquired HIV by the parenteral route (91.8%) than in those that acquired HIV by the sexual route (2.8%). Discussion: Slovenia remains among the countries with the lowest prevalence of HCV infection in HIV-infected individuals. Because the burden of HIV among men who have sex with men in Slovenia is disproportionately high and increasing rapidly, the current favorable situation could change quickly and should be therefore monitored regularly.

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