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February 19, 1997

Is Hepatitis G Virus Transmitted Sexually?

Author Affiliations

Virgen del Rocio University Hospital Seville, Spain
Boehringer Mannheim Laboratory Diagnostics Mannheim, Germany

JAMA. 1997;277(7):532-533. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03540310030026

To the Editor.  —Hepatitis G virus (HGV), a new member of the Flaviviridae family, has been recently cloned.1 This agent is known to be transmitted parenterally and a high prevalence of HGV RNA has been found in injection drug users, hemophiliacs, and patients receiving hemodialysis. However, no data are yet available about sexual or perinatal transmission of HGV.2 We present preliminary data that support the sexual transmission of this virus.We investigated the presence of HGV RNA in cryopreserved serum samples taken from 150 index cases and their stable heterosexual partners. Index cases had attended the hospital because they showed elevated alanine aminotransferase levels and/or had risk factors for parenterally/sexually transmitted viral diseases. In addition, we also studied the prevalence of HGV infection in 193 female prostitutes and 149 homosexual men who had participated in a study on sexual transmission of hepatitus C virus (HCV)3 and from

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