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October 2021

J Med Virol. 1997 May; 52(1): 83-5.

Prevalence and risk factor analysis of GBV-C/HGV infection in prostitutes.

Wu JC, Sheng WY, Huang YH, Hwang SJ, Lee SD.

Department of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University School of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.

GB virus-C (GBV-C) and Hepatitis G virus (HGV) are variants of a recently cloned virus transmitted parenterally. It is unclear if sexual contact also transmits this virus. In this study, we detected serum GBV-C/HGV RNA in 140 prostitutes by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) using different primers. Thirty (21%) were found with GBV-C RNA by nested PCR although only 22 (73%) had HGV RNA by single round RT-PCR. Both assays had a nearly perfect agreement (kappa value, 0.812). The prevalence of GBV-C RNA in prostitutes was significantly higher than the control group (30/140 vs. 2/40, P < 0.02). Multivariate analysis revealed that a frequency of paid sex more than 120 times per month was the only factor significantly associated with positive GBV-C RNA in prostitutes (P < 0.003). In summary, prostitutes are a high risk group and reservoir of GBV-C/HGV infection due to high frequency of paid-sex.

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