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Epidemiological, immunological and virological characteristics, and disease progression of HIV-1/HCV-co-infectedc patients from a southern Brazilian population

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A cross-sectional study was carried out in order to describe the epidemiological, immunological and virological characteristics, and the disease progression of hepatitis C virus (HCV)/human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)- co-infected patients from a southern Brazilian population. Of 778 HIV-1-infected individuals enrolled in the study from September 2001 to December 2003, and followed up until June 2004, 757 were tested for anti-HCV antibodies. Of these, 159 (21.0%) showed positive results for anti-HCV. Males, individuals in the 25 to 34 year age range, and individuals of lower economic levels were more likely to be seropositive for both viruses [prevalence rate (PR), 2.04; 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 1.43-2.92; p<0.001]. The anti-HCV reactivity was also associated with blood routes of transmission (PR, 2.20; 95% CI, 1.28-3.77; p<0.001), intravenous drug use (PR, 5.79; 95% CI, 4.74-7.07; p<0.001), self-reported previous sexually transmitted diseases (PR, 1.55; 95% CI, 1.18-2.04; p=0.002), VDRL positivity (PR, 2.87; 95% CI, 2.40-3.43; p<0.001), and anti-HTLV I/II reactivity (PR, 5.09; 95% CI, 4.16-6.23; p<0.001). In the follow-up period, the HCV/HIV-1-co-infected patients showed a trend toward lower CD4+ T-cell counts, higher HIV-1 RNA plasma viral load and faster disease progression than patients infected only with HIV-1, but significant differences were not observed. Although there were proportionately more deaths in the HCV/HIV-1-co-infected group, the use of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) was a string predictor of increased CD4+ T-cell counts and decreased HIV-1 RNA plasma levels, suggesting that HAART is more important to the immunological and virological outcomes in HIV-1 infection than is HCV co-infection status.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Health Sciences Center, Department of Pathology, Clinical Analysis and Toxicology, University Hospital of Londrina State University, CEP 86038-440, Londrina, ParanĂ¡, Brazil., Email: [email protected]

Publication date: January 1, 2008

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  • The International Journal of Molecular Medicine is a monthly, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the publication of high quality studies related to the molecular mechanisms of human disease. The journal welcomes research on all aspects of molecular and clinical research, ranging from biochemistry to immunology, pathology, genetics, human genomics, microbiology, molecular pathogenesis, molecular cardiology, molecular surgery and molecular psychology.

    The International Journal of Molecular Medicine aims to provide an insight for researchers within the community in regard to developing molecular tools and identifying molecular targets for the diagnosis and treatment of a diverse number of human diseases.
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