The prevalence of Hepatitis B surface antigenaemia in patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in Gombe, Nigeria
AbstractBackground: Both Hepatitis Virus B (HBV) and HIV infection are highly endemic in Nigeria and are important causes of morbidity and mortality. Co-infection is known to occur since the two viruses share common modes of transmission. HBV is known to produce a protein X that can stimulate the replication of HIV in vitro, and it has been observed that HIV positive men with HBV infection are at increased risk of liver related mortality.
Methods: Two hundred consecutively recruited HIV-infected individuals comprising 97 males and 103 females were screened for HBsAg using ELISA. HIV-negative blood donors in the same area were used as controls.
Results: Fifty-three of the patients tested positive for HBsAg giving an overall prevalence rate of 26.5% which was significantly higher (p < 0.001) than the 10.4% recorded among non-HIV-infected individuals. Co-infection rate in males (24.7%) did not differ significantly from that of females (28.2%). Co-infection was highest in the 40-49 years age group (41.6%), while no case of co-infection was recorded in the ≤ 19 years. Among the different occupational groups businessmen had the highest co-infection rate (44%) followed by long distance drivers (39.5%). In relation to marital status, divorcees/widows had the highest proportion of those with co-infection (53%) followed by those who were unmarried (32.5%) and those married (21.6%).
Conclusion: This study confirms the high prevalence rate of HBV co-infection in HIV-infected patients compared to the non-HIV- infected population. Therefore, there is a need to screen all HIV-infected patients for HBV infection.
Key Words: Hepatitis B surface antigen, HIV infection
Annals of African Medicine Vol.3(1 ) 2004: 10-12