Selenium as adjunct to HAART in the management of HIV/Hepatitis B Virus coinfection: A Randomized open label study
Objective: Management of viral hepatitis in patients with HIV disease is quite challenging and complex. With effective HIV treatment, people with HIV/HBV co-infection are living longer. HBV epidemiologic surveys showed an inverse association between selenium (Se) level and regional cancer incidence, as well as viral infection. This study assessed effect of selenium as adjunct to HAART in management of HIV/HBV co-infection.
Methods: A randomized open label study with participants allocated into three treatment groups: – HAART-only, Se-only and HAART-plus-Se. HIV viral load, HBV viral load, CD4 cell count, and alanine aminotransaminase (ALT), were analyzed at baseline and 18th month, analyzed using SPSS 5 v11. Ethical approval was obtained from Institute’s Ethical Review Board.
Results: Sample size was 149 HIV/HBV patients. Rate of HBV clearance was higher among those on HAART-plus-Se at 18th month when compared with rate of clearance among those on HAART-only (p=0.046). CD4 count increment among HAARTplus- Se group compared with HAART-only group was higher (p=0.133), though not statistically significant. On comparison of baseline and 18th month ALT, there was significant decline for HAART-plus-Se (p=0.002) compared with HAART-only group.
Conclusion: Selenium seems to have protective effect on liver cells; may be beneficial as adjunct to HAART in HIV/HBV management.
Key words: HIV/HBV co-infection, Selenium adjunct, HAART