Prevalence and characteristics of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and fibrosis in people living with HIV monoinfection: A systematic review and meta-analysis


Background and Aims

Liver disease remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among people living with HIV (PLWH). Emerging data have shown that PLWH are at high risk for developing nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The aim of this review is to examine the current literature and provide an accurate estimate of the prevalence of NAFLD, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), and fibrosis in PLWH and potential NAFLD risk factors.


We searched PubMed and Embase databases to identify studies reporting the prevalence of NAFLD and/or fibrosis in PLWH monoinfection. We performed a random effects meta-analysis of proportions to estimate the pooled prevalence of NAFLD, NASH, and fibrosis among PLWH monoinfection. We examined potential NAFLD risk factors by comparing characteristics of PLWH monoinfection and NAFLD with PLWH monoinfection without NAFLD.


A total of 43 studies, reporting data for 8230 patients, met our eligibility criteria and were included in the meta-analysis. Based on imaging studies the overall pooled prevalence of NAFLD and moderate liver fibrosis (METAVIR ≥ F2) among PLWH monoinfection was 33.9% (95% confidence interval [CI], 29.67%–38.39%), and 12.00% (95% CI, 10.02%–14.12%), respectively. Based on biopsy studies, prevalence of NASH and significant liver fibrosis (stage ≥F2 on histology) was 48.77% (95% CI, 34.30%–63.34%) and 23.34% (95% CI, 14.98%–32.75%), respectively. Traditional metabolic syndrome and HIV-related factors were associated with NAFLD in PLWH.


Our study confirms that the burden of NAFLD, NASH, and fibrosis is high among PLWH monoinfection. Prospective longitudinal studies are needed to delineate NAFLD, NASH, and fibrosis risk factors, and identify early interventions and new therapies for NAFLD in this population.


Kalligeros M, Vassilopoulos A, Shehadeh F, Vassilopoulos S, Lazaridou I, Mylonakis E, Promrat K, Wands JR




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Epidemiology
  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population
  • Co-morbidities
    • Other


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