The following article requires a subscription:

(Format: HTML, PDF)

Background: In 2007, routine hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibody testing was introduced for men who have sex with men (MSM) with a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive or unknown status attending a Dutch sexually transmitted infection (STI) outpatient clinic. We evaluated whether this screening resulted in additional and earlier HCV diagnoses among MSM who also attend HIV clinics.

Methods: At first STI consultation, HIV-positive MSM and MSM opting-out of HIV testing (HIV-status-unknown) were tested for HCV antibodies (anti-HCV). During follow-up consultations, only previously HCV-negative men were tested. Retrospectively, STI clinic and HIV clinic HCV diagnosis dates were compared.

Results: One hundred twelve (6.4%) of 1742 (95% confidence interval [CI], 5.3-7.6%) HIV-positive and 3 (0.7%) of 446 (95% CI, 0.2-2.0%) HIV-status-unknown MSM tested anti-HCV-positive at first consultation. During follow-up consultations, 32 HIV-positive (incidence HCV-positive: 2.35/100 person years (PY) (95% CI, 1.66-3.33)) and 0 (1-sided, 97.5% CI, 0.0-3.76) HIV-status-unknown MSM became anti-HCV-positive. Four (11.8%) of 34 HIV-positive MSM notified by their sexual partner of HCV tested anti-HCV-positive.

Of 163 HIV-positive MSM with HCV antibodies, 78 reported a history of HCV. HCV diagnosis data at the HIV clinic was requested for the remaining 85 MSM and available for 54 MSM. Of these 54 MSM, 28 (51.9%) had their first HCV diagnosis at the STI clinic, of whom 7 concurrently with HIV. At their next scheduled HIV clinic consultation, 3 HCV cases probably would have been missed.

Conclusions: The introduction of routine anti-HCV testing at the STI outpatient clinic resulted in additional and earlier HCV detection among HIV-positive MSM. Testing should be continued among HIV-positive MSM, at least for those not (yet) under the care of an HIV clinic and those notified of HCV by their sexual partner.

(C) Copyright 2016 American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association