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HCV, HIV

saboteur at BORCIM.WUSTL.EDU saboteur at BORCIM.WUSTL.EDU
Tue Jan 17 12:33:20 EST 1995


>While I am only a college student who probably isn't quite aware of the facts,
>Brett Lindenbach's comment on why Hepatitis C receives so little publicity
>versus
>the amount received by HIV confuses me.  He says that approximately 1,000,000
>people have the disease, but I have heard figures of HIV infection of 1 in 25
>to even 1 in 10 (amoung my age of people).  Could someone a bit more knowledge-
>able on the subject please clear this up for me?  Thanks.
>
>Audra J. Wolfe
>Biochemistry/Chemistry Student at Purdue University
>chopin at expert.cc.purdue.edu


Dear Audra,
  I said that the number of HCV- and HIV-infected individuals were *comparable*,
which they are. My source was WHO estimates, dated by perhaps several
months, at most. The flaw in your logic is pointed out by none other than
yourself..."1 in 25...people of my age." This brings up a whole different
issue that may also be relevant to why HIV gets more press: the
demographics of infection. Because HIV clearly has a sexual transmission
route (yet not the only!), younger people, in general, are more likely to
be infected. While it is still unclear if HCV can be spread sexually, it
does not appear to be a major route of transmission. People have mostly
been infected during blood transfusion, or through the use of contaminated
blood products, or by needle sharing. I do not have current averages in
front of me, but from meeting many HCV patients, no doubt HCV infects an
older crowd than HIV (In general! Don't
flame me!) Would there be any epidemiologists out there who could pitch in?

ps Audra, I think your netiquette blows.
Brett Lindenbach
Lucille P. Markey Student in Human Pathobiology
Program in Immunology
Washington University - St Louis
brett at borcim.wustl.edu





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