Factors associated with hepatitis C viremia in a large cohort of HIV- infected and -uninfected women


Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is common among HIV-infected women. The infection clears in 20-50% of HCV-infected women, but in fewer women if they also have HIV infection. We investigated characteristics associated with presence and level of HCV virus in the blood (viremia) of 898 HIV- infected and 169 HIV-uninfected who had current or past HCV infection. Of 1,067 women in WIHS, 852 (80%) had HCV viremia. We found that women who were Black, had large amounts of HIV in their blood, or reported smoking or crack/freebase cocaine use, were more likely to have HCV viremia, and women who had current infection with hepatitis B were less likely to have HCV viremia. Women who were older, HIV-infected, or reported marijuana/hash use had higher levels of HCV in their blood; women who reported heroin use had lower levels. These results suggest that age, race, lifestyle, virologic, and immunologic characteristics affect presence and level of HCV viremia, but these characteristics differ in their impact on presence and level.


Operskalski EA, Mack WJ, Strickler HD, French AL, Augenbraun M, Tien PC, Villacres MC, Spencer LY, DeGiacomo M and Kovacs A. Factors associated with hepatitis C viremia in a large cohort of HIV-infected and -uninfected women. J Clin Virol 2008;41:255-263.