High HIV prevalence in male patients with acute hepatitis A in the Rome metropolitan area, Italy 2002-2008

Enrico Girardi, Paola Scognamiglio, Maria Rosaria Sciarrone, Mariarosaria Loffredo, Claudio Gnesivo, Pasquale Noto, Giorgio Antonucci, Maria Rosaria Capobianchi, Giuseppe Ippolito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background & Aims: Several outbreaks of hepatitis A affecting homosexual men have been reported in Europe. However, the prevalence of HIV infection in patients affected by hepatitis A has not been extensively studied and hepatitis A is not considered as an indicator disease for routine HIV testing. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed all adult cases of acute hepatitis A, reported by the National Institute of Infectious Disease "L. Spallanzani", Rome-Italy, in 2002-2008. Data on HIV infection were obtained by chart review and cross-linkage with laboratory. Information on exposure to risk factors were collected from the standard questionnaire of the Local Health Unit. Results: We analyzed a total of 473 cases of hepatitis A, 368 (77.2%) males that accounted for 75% of all reported cases in Rome, aged 25-64 years (same gender distribution). During the study period, we diagnosed a high proportion of cases among male individuals (78%). Among the male patients, HIV serology was available for 203/368 (55.2%). The overall HIV prevalence was 15.2% (56/368); it was significantly associated with same gender sex and was significantly higher than that observed among patients with hepatitis B (4.0%). Conclusions: We found a high HIV prevalence, associated with same gender sex, among adult male patients diagnosed with hepatitis A in the period 2002-2008, except for 2006. Our data suggest that in a low incidence area for hepatitis A, with a constant high proportion of cases among male individuals, all individuals with acute hepatitis A should be routinely offered an HIV test.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1102-1106
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Hepatology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011


  • Hepatitis A
  • HIV Infections/diagnosis
  • Homosexuality
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Sex factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology


Dive into the research topics of 'High HIV prevalence in male patients with acute hepatitis A in the Rome metropolitan area, Italy 2002-2008'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this