International journal of infectious diseases : IJID : official publication of the International Society for Infectious Diseases 2017 05 0560() 64-69 pii 10.1016/j.ijid.2017.04.011
To assess the prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and hepatitis B virus (HBV) co-infections among people living with HIV (PLHIV) in Nepal.
A sample of 677 PLHIV representing key affected populations (KAP) in Nepal, who were undergoing antiretroviral (ART) therapy in ART clinics around the country, were voluntarily enrolled in the study. Rapid kit-based testing followed by ELISA for validation was performed, focusing on HBV surface antigen (HBsAg) and antibodies against HCV (anti-HCV). A multivariate logistic regression model was used to identify factors associated with HBV and HCV co-infection.
HCV and HBV co-infection among the 677 PLHIV was found to be 19% (95% confidence interval (CI) 16.6-22.7%) and 4.4% (95% CI 3.1-6.6%), respectively. The Eastern Region had the highest percentage of HCV infection (48%). The age group with the highest rates of co-infection was 30-39 years (58% and 70%, respectively, for HCV and HBV co-infection). After adjusting for confounding, males were more likely to have HBV co-infection than females (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 4.61, 95% CI 1.42-14.98). Similarly, PLHIV who were male (AOR 5.7, 95% CI 2.06-15.98), had a secondary level of education (AOR 3.04, 95% CI 1.06-8.70), or who were drug users (AOR 28.7, 95% CI 14.9-55.22) were significantly more likely to have HCV co-infection.
This first ever national assessment of HIV, HBV, and HCV co-infection performed among PLHIV in Nepal demonstrates that HCV and HBV infections are a health threat to this population and that interventions are required to mitigate the effects of co-infection and to prevent further morbidity and mortality.