Prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus — hepatitis B virus co-infection amongst adult patients in Mahalapye, Ngami, Serowe, Botswana: a descriptive cross-sectional study
Background: About 37 million people are living with human-immunodeficiency-virus (HIV) worldwide, with 2.6 million co-infected with the hepatitis B virus (HBV). HBV infection causes 650 000 deaths annually worldwide. Botswana has a high prevalence of HIV and a growing population of patients on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). This study aimed to determine the prevalence of HIV–HBV co-infection amongst HAART eligible adult patients in some rural settings in Botswana.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted amongst HAART eligible adult patients at 15 HAART clinics in the Mahalapye, Ngami and Serowe Health Districts of Botswana, from August to October 2015. A total of 132 were recruited; of these 118 consented and were tested for HBsAg reactivity using Elisa.
Results: Six (5.1%, 6/118) patients from the three rural health districts were HIV–HBV co-infected, with three in the 20–29 age group. The association between sex and HIV–HBV co-infection status was not statistically significant; p = 1.00.
Conclusion: The finding of 5.1% HIV–HBV co-infection prevalence in some rural settings of Botswana was similar to results from one study conducted in a Botswana urban centre, while another previous similar study reported prevalence as being twice as high. This finding may call for prioritisation of pre-HAART HBV screening and early HAART initiation for all HIV-infected patients.
Keywords: Botswana, HBsAg screening, HIV–HBV co-infection prevalence