Differences in hepatitis C virus prevalence and clearance by mode of acquisition among men who have sex with men

E. C. Seaberg, M. D. Witt, L. P. Jacobson, R. Detels, C. R. Rinaldo, S. Young, J. P. Phair, C. L. Thio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


We examined the characteristics associated with hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibody (anti-HCV) prevalence and HCV clearance between injection drug using (IDU) and non-IDU men who have sex with men (MSM). Stored serum and plasma samples were tested for anti-HCV and HCV RNA to determine the HCV status of 6925 MSM at enrolment into the Multicentre AIDS Cohort Study (MACS). Prevalence and clearance ratios were calculated to determine the characteristics associated with HCV prevalence and clearance. Multivariable analyses were performed using Poisson regression methods with robust variance estimation. Anti-HCV prevalence was significantly higher among IDU than among non-IDU MSM (42.9% vs 4.0%), while clearance was significantly lower among IDU MSM (11.5% vs 34.5% among non-IDU MSM). HIV infection, Black race, and older age were independently associated with higher prevalence in both groups, while smoking, transfusion history, and syphilis were significantly associated with prevalence only among non-IDU MSM. The rs12979860-C/C genotype was the only characteristic independently associated with HCV clearance in both groups, but the effects of both rs12979860-C/C genotype [clearance ratio (CR) = 4.16 IDUs vs 1.71 non-IDUs; P = 0.03] and HBsAg positivity (CR = 5.06 IDUs vs 1.62 non-IDUs; P = 0.03) were significantly larger among IDU MSM. HIV infection was independently associated with lower HCV clearance only among non-IDU MSM (CR = 0.59, 95% CI = 0.40-0.87). IDU MSM have higher anti-HCV prevalence and lower HCV clearance than non-IDU MSM. Differences in the factors associated with HCV clearance suggest that the mechanisms driving the response to HCV may differ according to the mode of acquisition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)696-705
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of viral hepatitis
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014


  • HIV
  • IFNL4
  • IL28B
  • MSM
  • hepatitis C
  • injection drug use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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