HIV Infection Status as a Predictor of Hepatitis C Virus RNA Testing in Primary Care

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

American journal of preventive medicine


INTRODUCTION: Receipt of hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA testing following a positive HCV antibody (anti-HCV+) test result to establish current infection is a quality indicator for HCV-related care. This study examines HIV infection status as a predictor of HCV RNA test receipt after an anti-HCV+ result in the primary care setting.

METHODS: Electronic medical records of anti-HCV+ patients from a multisite retrospective study of patients aged ≥18 years who utilized one or more primary care outpatient services during 2005-2010 were analyzed in 2014. A multivariable logistic regression model examined the independent relationships between patient characteristics and receipt of HCV RNA testing.

RESULTS: Among 1,115 anti-HCV+ patients, 133 (11.9%) were also HIV-positive. Of these, 77.4% (n=103) underwent HCV RNA testing to determine current infection status. By contrast, 66.7% (n=654/980) of anti-HCV+ patients who were HIV-negative received HCV RNA testing. Following multivariable adjustment, the odds of receiving HCV RNA testing were higher among anti-HCV+ patients who were also HIV-positive (AOR=1.9, 95% CI=1.2, 3.0), compared with their HIV-negative counterparts. Elevated alanine aminotransferase level was also associated with receipt of HCV RNA testing (AOR=1.9, 95% CI=1.4, 2.4). Black race was associated with decreased odds of receiving HCV RNA testing (AOR=0.7, 95% CI=0.5, 1.0).

CONCLUSIONS: HIV infection status is independently associated with the likelihood of receiving HCV RNA testing following an anti-HCV+ result. One quarter of anti-HCV+ patients who were also HIV-positive and one third of their HIV-negative counterparts, respectively, did not receive testing to establish active HCV infection, which is imperative for appropriate care and treatment.

Medical Subject Headings

Female; HIV Infections; Hepatitis C; Hepatitis C Antibodies; Humans; Logistic Models; Male; Middle Aged; Primary Health Care; Quality Indicators, Health Care; Quality of Health Care; RNA, Viral; Retrospective Studies

PubMed ID






First Page


Last Page