Hepatitis B/C and HIV in sub-Saharan Africa: An association between highly prevalent infectious diseases. A systematic review and meta-analysis

Barth R.E. ; Huijgen Q. ; Taljaard J. ; Hoepelman A.I.M. (2010)


Objectives: Hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are endemic in Africa. However, hepatitis co-infection rates among HIV-infected individuals remain controversial. The aim of this review was to determine the prevalence of HBV and HCV in HIV-infected patients in sub-Saharan Africa and to analyze whether HIV is associated with a higher HBV/HCV prevalence in that region. Design and methods: We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis. Studies reporting HBV and HCV prevalence data amongst HIV-infected patients in sub-Saharan Africa were included. Weighted means and medians across studies were calculated. Studies including an HIV-negative control group were used for meta-analysis. Risk ratios (RRs) were calculated using a random effects model. Results: Sixty studies were included. Among HIV-infected individuals, mean HBsAg and anti-HCV prevalence rates were 15% and 7%, respectively. RRs for a positive HBsAg and a positive anti-HCV were 1.40 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.16-1.69) and 1.60 (95% CI 1.05-2.45) for HIV-infected, as compared to HIV-uninfected, patients. Conclusions: Many HIV-positive individuals in sub-Saharan Africa are HBV or HCV co-infected. HIV is associated with a higher prevalence of both HBV and HCV in this region. However, this association is less evident than that observed in Western countries and varies between studies. © 2010 International Society for Infectious Diseases.

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