High prevalence of hepatitis B virus infection among tuberculosis patients with and without HIV in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
To determine the prevalence and exposure factors associated with hepatitis B infection in tuberculosis patients with and without HIV type 1 coinfection, the presence of hepatitis B virus serological markers was investigated in a retrospective study. The seroprevalence of hepatitis B virus in patients with tuberculosis only was 14.6%, and in tuberculosis patients coinfected with HIV it increased to 35.8%. In patients with HIV and tuberculosis coinfection, homosexuality constituted the principal exposure factor, while in tuberculosis patients without HIV, a gradual increase in hepatitis B virus seroprevalence was noted along with increasing age. The results demonstrate that hepatitis B infection is highly prevalent in tuberculosis patients in Brazil and suggest that a vaccination program for the general population should be considered in order to prevent further hepatitis B infections.