The sexual transmission of hepatitis C virus (HCV), which during the current century has been largely seen among HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM), may be spreading among HIV-negative MSM as well. That’s according to a study of Parisian MSM in which researchers used genetic analyses to chart the spread of HCV among them.

Presenting their findings at the International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam (AIDS 2018), researchers conducted a study of 68 Parisian MSM, including 13 members of the IPERGAY studyof pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), who had recently contracted HCV.

Using three different methods of genetic analyses of the men’s hep C, the researchers estimated that the men’s virus belonged to one of10, 17 or 18 different transmission clusters (a cluster includes two or more genetically similar viruses), depending on the type of analysis. The clusters included both HIV-negative and HIV-positive men in a respective 8, 10 and 10 of the three identified clusters.

The clusters had a median of two members according to one form of analysis and a median of three members according to another form.

To read the NATAP report, click here.

To download the conference slides, click here.