Main Article Content

Hepatitis B and C virus infections and liver function in AIDS patients at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, Johannesburg

H Lodenyo
B Schoub
R Ally
S Kairu
I Segal


Background: Impaired liver function tests and co-infection with hepatitis viruses in AIDS patients are common in western countries.
Objective: To assess liver function and prevalence of co-infection with hepatitis B and hepatitis C viruses in AIDS patients at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.
Design: A prospective study.
Setting: Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Patients: One hundred consecutive patients with AIDS admitted to Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.
Results: There were 52 males and 48 females aged 16 to 54 years (mean + SD: 34.6 + 7.5 years). The results of laboratory test were as follows: LFTs: bilirubin 11.8 (+15.6) ìmol/ l; AST: 79.6 (±116.6) iu/L; alkaline phosphatase: 204.3 (±237.4) iì/L; albumin: 23.9 (±6.2) g/l; CD4+ Iymphocytes: 141.5 (±168.6) ìl; CD8+: 666.9 (±618.3) ìl; HBV - HbsAg: 6 (6%); HbsAg + eAg: 3 (3%); previous disease (Anti HBs and/or anti HBc): 35%, HCV: 1(1%).
Conclusion: Liver function tests were impaired in the majority of patients with AIDS (93%) in our setting. Evidence of previous and present HBV infection was present in 41%. This is different from what is observed in western countries (90-95%). The results also suggest that patients here acquired HBV infection while still immuno competent. HCV infection
was rare.