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Prevalence of hepatitis B and C viruses in HIV-positive patients in China: a cross-sectional study

Jing Xie, Yang Han, Zhifeng Qiu, Yijia Li, Yanling Li, Xiaojing Song, Huanling Wang, Chloe L Thio, Taisheng Li


Introduction: Liver disease related to hepatitis B (HBV) and hepatitis C (HCV) may temper the success of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in China. Limited data exist on their prevalence in HIV-positive Chinese. A multi-centre, cross-sectional study was carried out to determine the prevalence and disease characteristics of HBV and HCV co-infection in HIV-positive patients across 12 provinces.

Methods: HIV-positive ART-naïve patients were recruited from two parent cohorts established during November 2008–January 2010 and August 2012–September 2014. Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), hepatitis B e antigen and HCV antibody (anti-HCV) status were retrieved from parent databases at the visit prior to ART initiation. HBV DNA was then determined in HBsAg+ patients. HCV RNA was quantified in anti-HCV+ patients. Aspartate aminotransferase-to-platelet ratio index (APRI) and the fibrosis-4 (FIB4) were calculated. Chi-square test, Kruskal–Wallis test and logistic regression were used for statistical analysis, as appropriate.

Results: Of 1944 HIV-positive patients, 186 (9.5%) were HIV–HBV co-infected and 161 (8.3%) were HIV–HCV co-infected. The highest HIV–HBV prevalence (14.5%) was in Eastern China while the highest HIV–HCV prevalence was in the Central region (28.2%). HIV–HBV patients had lower median CD4 + T cell count (205 cells/μL) than either HIV monoinfected (242 cells/μL, P=0.01) or HIV–HCV patients (274 cells/μL, P=0.001). Moderate-to-significant liver disease was present in >65% of the HIV–HCV, ~35% of the HIV–HBV and ~20% of the HIV monoinfected patients. Independent associations with moderate-to-significant liver disease based on APRI included HBV (Odds ratio, OR 2.37, P < 0.001), HCV (OR 9.64, P<0.001), CD4 count≤200 cells/μL (OR 2.55, P<0.001) and age ≥30 years (OR 1.80, P=0.001).

Conclusions: HBV and HCV prevalence is high in HIV-positive Chinese and differs by geographic region. HBV and HCV co-infection and HIV monoinfection are risks for moderate-to-significant liver disease. Only HIV–HBV is associated with greater HIV-related immunosuppression. Incorporating screening and management of hepatitis virus infections into Chinese HIV programmes is needed.

Keywords: HIV; hepatitis B virus; hepatitis C virus; co-infection; prevalence; liver disease; CD4+ T cell count.

(Published: 14 March 2016)

Citation: Xie J et al. Journal of the International AIDS Society 2016, 19:20659 |

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