Prevalence of occult hepatitis B among HIV-positive individuals in Africa: A systematic review and meta-analysis


The prevalence of hepatitis B virus among HIV-seropositive individuals is believed to be high, and yet the disease remains neglected in many areas of the continent. Little is known about occult hepatitis in HIV individuals. This review assessed occult hepatitis B infection and its prevalence in the different regions of the African continent. It also determines its prevalence in the HIV population which is endemic in the region. Studies were searched from the Cochrane, google scholar, PubMed/Medline, and African Journals online. Authors included cross-sectional studies, case controls, and cohorts, from 2010 to January 2021, following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses and Participants, Interventions, Comparisons, Outcomes, and Study design frameworks to develop the search strategy. All studies had participants who were HIV-positive, covering different regions of the continent. Risk ratio was used to measure effect size, and Stata 14 software was used for analysis. Eleven studies met the eligibility criteria, with 2567 participants. Overall prevalence of occult hepatitis B was 11.2%. Regional prevalence was 26.5% for the south, 11% for the north, 9.1% for the east, and 8.5% for the western region. Approximately 10% of HIV-seropositive individuals were co-infected with occult hepatitis B virus. Regionally, the prevalence was highest in the southern region and lowest in the west. The prevalence of occult HBV infection was compared between the southern region and the other regions. It was higher in the south compared to the east (risk ratio = 0.87, 95% confidence interval (0.83–0.91)). It was also higher in the south compared to the north (risk ratio = 0.82, 95% confidence interval (0.79–0.85)), and it was also higher in the south compared to the west (risk ratio = 0.85, 95% confidence interval (0.82–0.87)). Public health measures and interventions are required to raise awareness, increase prevention, and reduce spread of the disease. More evidence-based studies need to be carried out.


Kajogoo VD, Swai SS, Gurung S




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


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