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Seroprevalence of hepatitis C and correlates of seropositivity among men who have sex with men in Vancouver, Canada: a cross-sectional survey


Objectives We sought to determine the prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Vancouver, Canada, and associations of risk behaviours with HCV serostatus.

Methods We used data from the ManCount Study, a cross-sectional survey of MSM selected through a venue-based, time-location sampling method. Bivariate analyses and multivariate logistic regression modelling were used to determine correlates of HCV seropositivity. Bivariate analyses of participants who reported no history of injection drug use (IDU) were used to explore sexual behaviours associated with HCV seropositivity.

Results HCV seroprevalence was 4.9% (56/1132). Among HCV-seropositive participants who responded to the question, 22.4% (11/49) were unaware of their HCV-seropositive status, 84.9% (45/53) reported a history of IDU and 60.7% (34/56) were HIV positive by dried blood spot. Multivariate modelling found previous IDU (adjusted OR (AOR): 26.30, 95% CI 11.15 to 62.03), receiving goods, drugs or money for sex (AOR 4.98, 95% CI 2.43 to 10.20) and current smoking (AOR 3.46, 95% CI 1.47 to 8.16) were associated with HCV seropositivity. Among MSM who reported no history of IDU, HCV seropositivity was associated with bleeding after receptive anal sex (p=0.001) and a previous diagnosis of gonorrhoea (p=0.007).

Conclusions HCV seroprevalence among a sample of MSM is higher than the general population and associated with a history of IDU. Among those who did not report IDU, we found evidence that suggests sexual exposure could be the route of transmission.


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