Profile and prevalence of HBV among HIV affected individuals attending the largest public HIV care center in India
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A large number of people living with HIV/AIDS residing in HBV endemic regions such as in India are highly susceptible to acquire co-infections like HBV but also transmit them to other due to their high risk behaviours. The present study aimed to estimate HBV prevalence and distribution of various HBV serological markers among HIV infected individuals. This cross sectional survey covered HIV infected individuals attending the largest HIV care center in India. Socio-demographic details and blood samples to screen for HBV seromarkers using commercial ELISA kits were collected. Among 1160 HIV infected patients, prevalence of HBcAb, HBsAb, HBsAg and HBeAg was 66, 29.4, 16.6 and 5.8 % respectively. Overall, 28.9 % individuals had no evidence of any of the four markers, indicating lack of previous exposure and future risk of acquiring HBV infection. Presence of anti-HBsAg in a mere 0.9 % of individuals reflected low levels HBV vaccine conferred immunity which could be due to poor HBV vaccine coverage in this high risk population. With high prevalence and evidence of exposure to HBV as well as considering the growing literature on increase in hepatic complications in HIV-HBV co-infected individuals, the need for mandatory HBV screening of all HIV infected individuals cannot be over-emphasised. The policy makers and HIV programme managers must consider HBV vaccination for newly detected HBV naive HIV infected individuals and also focus on creating public awareness on HBV and HIV prevention.
KeywordsHIV HBV co-infection Seromarkers Prevalence Chennai India
The authors thank Dr. Sanjay Mehendale, Director, National Institute of Epidemiology, Chennai for his constant support and guidance throughout the study and for the valuable suggestions towards the improvement of the manuscript. This study was supported by the post-doctoral fellowship grant awarded to SK from Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Government of India. The authors thank the study participants; the technical staff and medical officers of the GHTM for their kind support. Special note of thanks to Mr. D. Murugan (NIE) for valuable support in data collection and Dr. Abbas, Mr. Gajendran and Mr. S. Saravanan for operational support at GHTM.
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