Prevalence and Factors Associated With Hepatitis B and C Co-Infection Among HIV-1-Infected Patients in Kenya

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Duncan Ndegwa Maina
Andrew Kimanga Nyerere
Ruth Wambui Gicho
Joseph Maina Mwangi
Raphael Wekesa Lihana


Background: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) are among the most chronic viral infections worldwide. Co-infections with HBV and HCV have become increasingly common among people living with HIV, resulting in a growing public health concern. The primary aim of our study was to determine the prevalence of HBV and HCV and their associated factors among HIV-1-infected patients attending the Ngong Sub-County Hospital comprehensive care clinic.

Methods: After providing consent, a 5 mL blood sample was collected from each study participant visiting the comprehensive care clinic. The blood was screened for hepatitis B surface antigen and HCV antibodies using chemiluminescence immunoassay test according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The CD4 T-cell counts were determined using FACSCalibre machine, while HIV-1 viral load was determined using the Abbott m2000rt System according to the manufacturer’s instructions. A questionnaire was used to collect sociodemographic information and data on factors associated with HBV and HCV co-infections.

Results: One hundred and ninety HIV-1-infected patients participated in this study: 150 (78.9%) women and 40 (21.1%) men. In the overall study population, the prevalence of HBV co-infection was 5.8% (95% CI, 2.6%–8.9%) and of HCV co-infection was 4.2% (95% CI, 1.6%–7.4%). However, no individual was co-infected with all 3 viruses. HCV was associated with antiretroviral treatment (OR 0.2; 95% CI, 0.0–0.8; P=.036), while HBV showed a significant association with condom usage (OR 0.3; 95% CI, 0.1–0.9; P=.039) and median viral load.

Conclusions: A high prevalence of HIV/HBV and HIV/HCV co-infection was reported in this study, suggesting that HIV-infected patients should be routinely screened for HBV and HCV infections, and preventive and control measures should be put in place that include public education on HBV and HCV infections.

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