Objective: To identify factors associated with maternal hepatitis C virus (HCV) seroprevalence and transmission of HCV as identified by qualitative HCV ribonucleic acid (RNA) in the infants of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infected women delivering in New York State (NYS) in 2006.
Study design: In this retrospective cohort study of HIV-exposed infants born in NYS, leftover infant plasma from HIV diagnostic testing was de-identified and tested for HCV. If HCV antibodies were detected, a second specimen collected when the infant was >2 months old was tested for HCV qualitative RNA. Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with HCV seropositivity.
Results: In a final sample of 553 live birth events with perinatal HIV exposure, 21 (3.8 %) of tested infant specimens had HCV antibodies indicative of maternal HCV seropositivity. Maternal age at delivery of >35 years, Hispanic ethnicity, white race and injection drug use (IDU) were significantly associated with HCV seropositivity in multivariate analysis. No cases of HCV vertical transmission were identified among HCV exposed infant specimens.
Conclusions: This statewide population-based study of HIV-infected childbearing women shows HCV seroprevalence of 3.8 %. Maternal age of >35 years and IDU are the strongest predictors of HCV seropositivity. Although no viral transmission was documented, more comprehensive longitudinal testing would be required to conclude that HCV transmission did not occur.
Keywords: HIV; Hepatitis C; New York State; Pregnant; Seroprevalence.