Prevalence of Hepatitis B co-infection amongst HIV infected children attending a care and treatment centre in Owerri, South-eastern Nigeria
AbstractIntroduction: Hepatitis B infection impacts negatively on disease progression in HIV infected children thereby increasing morbidity and mortality. In spite of the foregoing, there is paucity of data on Hepatitis B co-infection in children living with HIV in Owerri, South Eastern Nigeria.This study set out to determine the prevalence of Hepatitis B Co- infection in HIV infected children attending the Paediatric HIV Care and Treatment clinic of the Federal Medical Centre Owerri. Methods: The study period was between February and July 2010. Testing for Hepatitis B infection was done using the ACON Hepatitis B surface antigen Rapid test strip. (Acon Laboratories Inc. San Diego.CA). Results: A total of 139 HIV infected children were enrolled during the study period. The overall prevalence of Hepatitis B Co- infection was 5.8% (8/139). The prevalence in males was 8.2% (5/61) while in females it was 3.8% (3/78). The prevalence of Hepatitis B Co- infection amongst patients on antiretroviral therapy was 4.6%. They accounted for 62.5% of Hepatitis B Co- infection in our study. Previous blood transfusion, gender and age of patient did not show statistically significant relationship with Hepatitis B Co-infection. Conclusion: Though our study shows a low prevalence of Hepatitis B co infection in HIV infected children in our centre, reduction of the rate is still strongly desirable. Reduction can be achieved by strengthing the uptake of Hepatitis B vaccine as part of the routine childhood immunization programme.
Pan African Medical Journal 2013; 14: 89