Global burden and changing trend of hepatitis C virus infection in HIV-positive and HIV-negative MSM: A systematic review and meta-analysis


Background: The disease burden of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in HIV-positive and HIV-negative men who have sex with men (MSM) is changing. We aim to provide an updated comprehensive estimate of HCV prevalence and incidence among the HIV-positive and HIV-negative MSM population at the country, regional, and global levels and their changing trends over time. Methods: PubMed, Embase, PsycINFO, CINAHL, and conference databases were searched and eligible records on the prevalence and incidence of HCV antibodies were selected and pooled via a random-effects model. Meta-regression was performed to demonstrate the association between the pooled rates and study year. Results: A total of 230 articles reporting 245 records from 51 countries with 445,883 participants and 704,249 follow-up person-years were included. The pooled prevalence of HCV in MSM was 5.9% (95% CI: 5.1–6.8), with substantial differences between countries and regions. Low- and lower-middle-income countries (12.3 and 7.0%) manifested a larger disease burden than high- and upper-middle-income countries (5.8 and 3.8%). HCV prevalence in HIV-positive MSM was substantially higher than in HIV-negative MSM (8.1 vs. 2.8%, p < 0.001). The pooled incidence of HCV was 8.6 (95% CI: 7.2–10.0) per 1,000 person-years, with an increasing trend over time, according to meta-regression (p < 0.05). Conclusion: Global HCV prevalence in MSM varies by region and HIV status. Behavior counseling and regular HCV monitoring are needed in HIV-positive subgroups and high-risk regions. Given the upward trend of HCV incidence and sexual risk behaviors, there is also a continued need to reinforce risk-reduction intervention.


Zheng Y, Ying M, Zhou Y, Lin Y, Ren J, Wu J




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Epidemiology
    • Determinants of Health
  • Determinants of Health
    • Income
  • Population(s)
    • Men who have sex with men
    • General HIV+ population
    • General HIV- population
  • Prevention, Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Prevention
  • Prevention
    • Sexual risk behaviour
  • Co-infections
    • Hepatitis B, C


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