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Background: Hepatitis B and C viral co‑infections with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are known to affect progression, management, and outcome of HIV infection. This study was aimed to access the prevalence of hepatitis B and C co‑infections in HIV‑infected adult patients in the University of Benin Teaching Hospital with a view of understanding the gravity of this problem in the local population.
Methods: The descriptive cross‑sectional study was carried out on 342 HIV‑infected adult patients on highly active antiretroviral therapy attending HIV Outpatients Clinic of University of Benin Teaching Hospital, between April and September, 2011. Patients’ sera were screened for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and anti‑hepatitis C virus (HCV) using immunochromatographic‑based kits. Clinical stage of HIV and CD4+ cell counts were equally evaluated. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 17.
Results: Of the 324 HIV‑infected patients screened, 53 (15.5%) were positive for HBsAg, 24 (7.0%) positive for hepatitis C virus antibodies (HCV‑Ab), while 2 (0.6%) were positive for both viruses. Seroprevalence of HBsAg was higher in male (17.8%) than in female (14.7%) (χ2 = 0.49, P = 0.49), while the reverse is the case for HCV‑Ab; 7.1% for female and 6.7% for male (χ2 = 0.02, P = 0.88). Seroprevalences of HBsAg and HCV‑Ab were also higher among patients in World Health Organization disease stages 3–4 and patients with CD4+ cell count ≤200 cell/μl compared to those in stages 1–2 and with CD4+ cell count >200 cell/μl.
Conclusion: Co‑infection with hepatitis B virus and HCV among HIV/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) patients is still a problem in our environment. Screening for these viruses among HIV/AIDS patients will allow for early detection and proper management.
Keywords: Benin, co‑infection, hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome