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WESTPORT CT-Patients infected with both HIV and hepatitis C (HCV) often have significant amounts of HCV in their saliva.
This discovery is important because up to 40% of hepatitis C patients do not know the origin of their infection.
D. Rey, MD, from Hopitaux Universitaires in Strasbourg, France, said one third of patients had detectable levels of HCV RNA in their saliva with a mean level of 1.15 million genome equivalents per milliliter. Immune status and HIV risk group had no bearing on salivary positivity. However, a greater proportion of men than women had detectable levels of HCV RNA in their saliva.
There was no correlation between quantitative saliva and serum results. Qualitative results did show a significant direct association.
HCV is spread through contact of blood from an infected person.
Information from www.hivandhepatits.com, www.cdc.gov