20th EMIS journal article on Hepatitis C among MSM in Spain

Percy Fernández-Dávila, Cinta Folcha, Laia Ferrera, Raúl Sorianog, Mercedes Diez and Jordi Casabona looked at risk factors assiociated with self-reported diagnoses of hepatitis C in last 12 months among MSM living in Spain. The outcome was rather rare: 46 out of 12,907 MSM (0.36%) MSM had received a diagnosis of hepatitis C infection. In multivariable regression analysis, the strongest predictor was a recent diagnosis of syphilis, followed by receptive fisting with non-steady partners, having had sex in a public sex venue, and having used erection-enhancing medication. Of note, unprotected anal intercourse was not associated with a recent diagnosis of hepatitis C. The multivariable model controlled for HIV diagnosis and a history of injection drug use, but the contribution of those two factors, or interaction of HIV diagnosis with recent syphilis diagnosis were not reported. The seroprevalence in the Spanish general population has been estimated at 2.5%. This compares to 1.5% among non-HIV-diagnosed EMIS respondents, and to 5.8% EMIS respondents with diagnosed HIV who reported to have ever been diagnosed with hepatitis C. The authors conclude that HIV infection is not a prerequisite for sexually acquired HCV among MSM in Spain.