Fluctuations in serological hepatitis C virus levels in HIV patients

Abstract INTRODUCTION: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) have identical transmission routes, explaining the high prevalence of coinfections. The main aim of this study was to detect fluctuations in serological HCV levels in HIV patients. METHODS: We analyzed samples of 147 patients who attended an outpatient service that supports HIV/AIDS patients in São Paulo city. We also recruited 22 HCV-monoinfected patients who attended the Instituto Adolfo Lutz Laboratory in São Paulo city, to compare the test results. Serological testing of the blood samples was performed for the detection of HCV antibodies. The samples were then analyzed using real-time PCR for RNA viral quantification and sequencing. RESULTS We found that 13.6% of the study population was coinfected with HIV and HCV. In 20% of coinfected patients, fluctuations in serology results were detected in samples collected during the follow-up. No changes in anti-HCV serological markers were observed in HCV-monoinfected patients. An HCV viral load was detected in 9,5% of the samples collected from HIV patients. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings provide important clinical data to public health professionals and highlight the importance of periodic monitoring of HCV/HIV coinfected patients.