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Co-infection of Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C among HIV-infected patients: A cross-sectional study from tertiary care hospital of eastern Nepal

by Lok Bahadur Shrestha, Gopal K. Yadav, Saugat Pradhan, Abhilasha Sharma, Tejendra Pandit, Roshan Chhetry, Basudha Khanal

Introduction

This study was conducted with an objective to analyze prevalence and risk factors associated with co-infection of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) in HIV-positive patients with reference to their CD4+ T cell status.

Materials and methods

HIV-positive patients visiting the HIV clinic for CD4+ T cells testing at B.P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences were tested for Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. Data regarding age, gender, mode of HIV transmission, duration of HIV diagnosis, antiretroviral therapy status, antiretroviral therapy duration, hepatitis B or C status, and CD4+ T cells count were collected via face-to-face interview, and hospital records. The data were entered in Microsoft Excel 2019 v16.0 (Microsoft, WA, USA) and statistical analysis was performed by using statistical package for social sciences, IBM SPSS® v21 (IBM, Armonk, New York).

Results

Out of 474 HIV-positive patients, HIV-HBV, HIV-HCV, and HIV-HBV-HCV co-infections were seen in 2.95% (14/474), 18.14% (86/474), and 2.53% (12/474) respectively. The primary route of infection was intra-venous drug use (IVDU) in those co-infected with HBV only (8, 57.14%), HCV only (46, 53.49%), and both HBV and HCV (8, 66.67%). HIV patients infected via IVDU were 2.40 times more likely to have HIV-HCV co-infection as compared to those infected via sexual route (AOR 2.40, 95% CI: 1.49,3.86). Similarly, HIV patients with CD4+ T cells count less than 350 cells/mm3 were more likely to have HIV-HBV-HCV co-infection as compared to those with CD4 count equal to and more than 350 cells/mm3 (AOR 13.84, 95% CI: 2.90,66.10).

Conclusion

HIV-positive patients are at high risk of hepatitis B and/or hepatitis C co-infection. Intravenous drug use, and lower CD4+T cells count are the most important risk predictors of co-infection. All HIV-positive patients should be carefully screened with hepatitis B and hepatitis C tests during their follow-up.

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