Background: Co-infection with HIV-1 and HCV is a significant global public health problem and a major consideration for anti-HIV-1 treatment. HCV infection among HIV-1 positive people who are eligible for the newly launched nationwide anti-HIV-1 treatment program in China has not been well characterized. Methodology: A nationwide survey of HIV-1 positive injection drug uses (IDU), former paid blood donors (FBD), and sexually transmitted cases from multiple provinces including the four most affected provinces in China was conducted. HCV prevalence and genetic diversity were determined. We found that IDU and FBD have extremely high rates of HCV infection (97% and 93%, respectively). Surprisingly, people who acquired HIV-1 through sexual contact also had a higher rate of HCV infection (20%) than the general population. HIV-1 subtype and HCV genotypes were amazingly similar among FBD from multiple provinces stretching from Central to Northeast China. However, although patterns of overland trafficking of heroin and distinct HIV-1 subtypes could be detected among IDU, HCV genotypes of IDU were more diverse and exhibited significant regional differences. Conclusion: Emerging HIV-1 and HCV co-infection and possible sexual transmission of HCV in China require urgent prevention measures and should be taken into consideration in the nationwide antiretroviral treatment program.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)