People with HIV or hepatitis C virus (HCV), or who are coinfected with both viruses, report high levels of joint pain, aidsmap reports. Publishing their findings in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, researchers conducted a cross-sectional study in which they interviewed 202 participants about joint pain, including 93 people with hep C, 30 people with HIV, and 79 HCV/HIV coinfected people.

The groups had similar age and gender makeups. A total of 173 of the participants were male.

The researchers used the Multi-Dimensional Health Assessment Questionnaire to evaluate joint pain and associated symptoms.

Seventy-one percent of the HCV-monoinfected people reported joint pain, compared with 56 percent of the HIV/HCV coinfected people and 50 percent of the HIV-monoinfected participants.

Across the study, the most commonly cited areas of joint pain were the fingers, knees and back.

Among the HCV-positive participants, having arthritis raised the risk of joint pain 4.25-fold, while smoking raised the risk 5.02-fold. Among the HIV-positive participants, arthritis raised the risk of joint pain 5.36-fold, and smoking raised the risk 6.07-fold.

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