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Keywords:

  • GB virus C;
  • human immunodeficiency virus;
  • Indonesia

Abstract

GB virus C (GBV-C), a human virus of the Flaviviridae family that is structurally and epidemiologically closest to hepatitis C virus (HCV), has been reported to confer beneficial outcomes in HIV-positive patients. However, the prevalence of GBV-C in HIV-positive individuals in Indonesia is unknown. Since GBV-C is more prevalent in anti-HCV positive patients than in anti-HCV negative subjects, transmission of GBV-C and HCV could be by the same method. This study examined the prevalence and molecular characteristics of GBV-C infection in HIV patients in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The prevalence of GBV-C among HIV patients (n = 125, median age 31 years) based on the 5′UTR region was 111/125 (88.8%), including 39/48 (81.3%) and 72/77 (93.5%) HIV-infected patients with and without HCV infection, respectively. GBV-C isolates were of genotype 2a, 3 and 6 in 58.3%, 12.6% and 28.4% of patients, respectively. Patients with genotype 3 were significantly younger than those with genotypes 2a or 6 (P = 0.001 and P = 0.012, respectively). Genotypes 3 and 6 were significantly associated with injection drug use (P = 0.004 and P = 0.002, respectively) and HCV co-infection (P < 0.001 for both genotypes), indicating a shared transmission route with HCV. In conclusion, the prevalence of GBV-C among HIV-positive patients in Indonesia is high, and three genotypes were detected, namely genotype 2a, 3 and 6.