Department of Internal Medicine I, Bonn University Hospital, Sigmund-Freud-Straße 25, 53105 Bonn, Germany.
The first 6 months after exposure to hepatitis C virus (HCV) are regarded as acute hepatitis C (AHC). Two patient populations worldwide share the highest prevalence of AHC virus infection: injection drug users and HIV-positive men who have sex with men. Diagnosis of AHC is often difficult in both patient populations as the acute inflammatory phase can be clinically asymptomatic and patients at highest risk for acquiring AHC (injection drug users) tend to evade regular medical care. This article addresses similarities and differences in the epidemiology, diagnosis, and management of AHC monoinfection and coinfection.