Acute hepatitis C infection among adults with HIV in the Netherlands between 2003 and 2016: a capture-recapture analysis for the 2013 to 2016 period

Euro Surveill. 2020 Feb;25(7):1900450. doi: 10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2020.25.7.1900450.


BackgroundWith regards to the global strategy towards eliminating viral hepatitis, reliable surveillance systems are essential to assess the national response for eliminating hepatitis C virus (HCV).AimWe aimed to assess the completeness of the two national registries with data on acute HCV infection in people with HIV, and estimated the number of acute HCV infections among adults (aged ≥ 18 years) with HIV in the Netherlands.MethodsIn this observational study, cases of HCV infection and reinfection among adults with a positive or unknown HIV-serostatus were identified from 2003 to 2016 in two national registries: the ATHENA cohort and the National Registry for Notifiable Diseases. For 2013-2016, cases were linked, and two-way capture-recapture analysis was carried out.ResultsDuring 2013-2016, there were an estimated 282 (95% confidence interval (CI): 264-301) acute HCV infections among adults with HIV. The addition of cases with an unknown HIV-serostatus increased the matches (from n = 107 to n = 129), and subsequently increased the estimated total: 330 (95%CI: 309-351). Under-reporting was estimated at 14-20%.ConclusionUnder-reporting of acute HCV infection among people with HIV could partially be explained by an unknown HIV-serostatus, or by differences in HCV stage (acute or chronic) at first diagnosis. Surveillance data should ideally include both acute and chronic HCV infections, and enable to distinguish these as well as initial- and re-infections. National surveillance of acute HCV can be improved by increased notification of infections.

Keywords: Disease Notification; HIV Infections; Hepatitis C; Netherlands; Population Surveillance; Registries.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Coinfection / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / complications
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • Hepacivirus / isolation & purification*
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • Hepatitis C / epidemiology*
  • Hepatitis C / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Population Surveillance / methods*
  • Registries
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution


  • Hepatitis B Vaccines