Defining sexual transmission of hepatitis C among gay men

The primary objectives of this project were to determine the molecular epidemiology of acute HCV transmission among men who have sex with men (MSM) and injecting drug users (IDUs) through analysis of HCV viral sequence homology and to determine the risk factors for HCV in MSM and the biological and behavioural mechanisms of permucosal HCV transmission in incident cases.

Study design

The study characterised HCV transmission in MSM using molecular epidemiological analysis, qualitative socio-behavioural and biological studies.

Patients were recruited from four established longitudinal study cohorts and hospital based clinics and followed for a period of 24 weeks.

Data Analysis

The studies examined:

  • Demographic data
  • HIV clinical parameters
  • HCV clinical parameters
  • sequence homology of HCV genome
  • serum and semen HCV viral load and genome sequence homology longitudinally
  • parenteral and permucosal HCV risk attitudes and behaviours longitudinally.


The study commenced recruitment in October 2010. Fourteen participants have been recruited and it will close at the end of 2011.



Contact Details

For any general enquiries relating to this project, please contact:

Professor Margaret Hellard AM

Deputy Director (Programs); Adjunct Professor, Monash University, DEPM.