Deakin University

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Risk of Primary Incident Hepatitis C Infection Following Bacterial Sexually Transmissible Infections Among Gay and Bisexual Men in Australia From 2016 to 2020

journal contribution
posted on 2024-05-10, 06:18 authored by BL Harney, R Sacks-Davis, Paul AgiusPaul Agius, DK van Santen, MW Traeger, AL Wilkinson, J Asselin, CK Fairley, N Roth, M Bloch, GV Matthews, B Donovan, R Guy, M Stoové, ME Hellard, JS Doyle, HL Aung, G Baillie, L Bastian, D Bateson, M Boyd, A Carter, A Cogle, J Costello, W Dimech, C El-Hayek, J Ellard, L Franklin, J Hocking, J Kim, L Nguyen, T Nguyen, D Nolan, C O’Connor, P Patel, S Pendle, V Polkinghorne, P Reed, N Ryder, C Selvey, M Walker, N Watson
Background. In Australia, the incidence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) has declined among gay and bisexual men (GBM) with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) since 2015 and is low among GBM using HIV preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP). However, ongoing HCV testing and treatment remains necessary to sustain this. To assess the potential utility of sexually transmissible infections (STIs) to inform HCV testing among GBM with HIV and GBM using PrEP, we examined the association between bacterial STI diagnoses and subsequent primary HCV infection. Methods. Data were from a national network of 46 clinics participating in the Australian Collaboration for Coordinated Enhanced Sentinel Surveillance. GBM included had ≥1 HCV antibody negative test result and ≥1 subsequent HCV antibody and/or RNA test. Discrete time survival analysis was used to estimate the association between a positive syphilis, rectal chlamydia, and rectal gonorrhea diagnosis in the previous 2 years and a primary HCV diagnosis, defined as a positive HCV antibody or RNA test result. Results. Among 6529 GBM with HIV, 92 (1.4%) had an incident HCV infection. A prior positive syphilis diagnosis was associated with an incident HCV diagnosis (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.99 [95% confidence interval, 1.11–3.58]). Among 13 061 GBM prescribed PrEP, 48 (0.4%) had an incident HCV diagnosis. Prior rectal chlamydia (adjusted hazard ratio, 2.75 [95% confidence interval, 1.42–5.32]) and rectal gonorrhea (2.54 [1.28–5.05]) diagnoses were associated with incident HCV. Conclusions. Diagnoses of bacterial STIs in the past 2 years was associated with HCV incidence. These findings suggest that STIs might be useful for informing HCV testing decisions and guidelines for GBM with HIV and GBM using PrEP.



Open Forum Infectious Diseases



Article number





United States







Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal




Oxford University Press (OUP)