Medical Journal of Zambia

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Prevalence of Hepatitis B Virus, HIV and HBV coinfection and associated factors in pregnant women attending antenatal care at the University Teaching Hospital, Lusaka, Zambia

V Sichone, B Vwalika


Objectives: To explore the prevalence and associated socio-demographic factors of hepatitis B in HIV positive and HIV negative pregnant women attending antenatal care at the University Teaching Hospital, Lusaka, Zambia.

Methods: This was a comparative cross-sectional study with a total of 316 (158 HIV negative and 158 HIV positive) pregnant women, aged 16-46years. Participants were recruited from the antenatal ward using convenient sampling method from women with a known and documented HIV status. A structured questionnaire was administered for sociodemographic data and bloods for HBsAg screening were collected. Data collection was done between 15th Dec 2016 and 30th May, 2017. The relationship between study variables and presence of HBV and HBV/HIV coinfection was examined using logistic regression. The selection for entry into the logistic regression model was considered at level p<0.05.

Results: Of the 316 study participants 11(3.5%) tested positive for HBsAg. There was no statistical difference in the prevalence of HBV in the HIV negative and HIV positive pregnant women (3.8% and 3.2% respectively, P=0.76). Similarly, there was no association between the age, marital status, parity, residence, religion, education level or form of employment with HBV infection. Being on combined anti-retroviral therapy (cART) had a 91% reduced odds for HBV co-infection[OR = 0.09, CI = 0.01 – 0.63, P = 0.02]

Conclusion: There was no significant difference in the prevalence of HBV between the HIV positive and HIV negative pregnant women. However, HIV antiretroviral treatment seems to have a protective effect on acquisition of HBV infection. Therefore, regardless of their HIV status or socio-demographic characteristics, all pregnant women should routinely be screened for HBV so that babies born to high risk mothers can receive the birth doses of HBV vaccine and immunoglobulins to prevent transmission to newborns.

Keywords: Hepatitis B virus, HBV and HIV Coinfection

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