Hepatitis B/C and HIV in sub-Saharan Africa: an association between highly prevalent infectious diseases. A systematic review and meta-analysis


OBJECTIVES: Hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are endemic in Africa. However, hepatitis co-infection rates among HIV-infected individuals remain controversial. The aim of this review was to determine the prevalence of HBV and HCV in HIV-infected patients in sub-Saharan Africa and to analyze whether HIV is associated with a higher HBV/HCV prevalence in that region. DESIGN AND METHODS: We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis. Studies reporting HBV and HCV prevalence data amongst HIV-infected patients in sub-Saharan Africa were included. Weighted means and medians across studies were calculated. Studies including an HIV-negative control group were used for meta-analysis. Risk ratios (RRs) were calculated using a random effects model. RESULTS: Sixty studies were included. Among HIV-infected individuals, mean HBsAg and anti-HCV prevalence rates were 15% and 7%, respectively. RRs for a positive HBsAg and a positive anti-HCV were 1.40 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.16-1.69) and 1.60 (95% CI 1.05-2.45) for HIV-infected, as compared to HIV-uninfected, patients. CONCLUSIONS: Many HIV-positive individuals in sub-Saharan Africa are HBV or HCV co-infected. HIV is associated with a higher prevalence of both HBV and HCV in this region. However, this association is less evident than that observed in Western countries and varies between studies. Copyright Copyright 2010 International Society for Infectious Diseases. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved


Barth RE, Huijgen Q, Taljaard J, Hoepelman AI.




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Epidemiology
  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population
  • Co-infections
    • Hepatitis B, C


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