Hepatitis C in HIV-infected individuals: A systematic review and meta-analysis of estimated prevalence in Africa


INTRODUCTION: Although hepatitis C virus (HCV) screening is recommended for all HIV-infected patients initiating antiretroviral therapy, data on epidemiologic characteristics of HCV infection in resource-limited settings are scarce. METHODS: We searched PubMed and EMBASE for studies assessing the prevalence of HCV infection among HIV-infected individuals in Africa and extracted data on laboratory methods used. Prevalence estimates from individual studies were combined for each country using random-effects meta-analysis. The importance of study design, population and setting as well as type of test (anti-HCV antibody tests and polymerase chain reactions) was examined with meta-regression. RESULTS: Three randomized controlled trials, 28 cohort studies and 121 cross-sectional analyses with 108,180 HIV-infected individuals from 35 countries were included. The majority of data came from outpatient populations (55%), followed by blood donors (15%) and pregnant women (14%). Based on estimates from 159 study populations, anti-HCV positivity prevalence ranged between 3.3% (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.8-4.7) in Southern Africa and 42.3% (95% CI 4.1-80.5) in North Africa. Study design, type of setting and age distribution did not influence this prevalence significantly. The prevalence of replicating HCV infection, estimated from data of 29 cohorts, was 2.0% (95% CI 1.5-2.6). Ten studies from nine countries reported the HCV genotype of 74 samples, 53% were genotype 1, 24% genotype 2, 14% genotype 4 and 9% genotypes 3, 5 or 6. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of anti-HCV antibodies is high in HIV-infected patients in Africa, but replicating HCV infection is rare and varies widely across countries.


Azevedo TC, Zwahlen M, Rauch A, Egger M, Wandeler G.




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


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