Prevalence of hepatitis B co-infection and response to antiretroviral therapy among HIV-infected patients in Tanzania

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To evaluate the prevalence of HIV/hepatitis B virus (HBV) co-infection and relationship between HIV/HBV and health outcomes in a cohort of HIV-infected adults receiving antiretroviral treatment (ART) in urban Tanzania.


Clinical and immunologic responses to ART were compared longitudinally between HIV mono (HIV) and HIV/HBV co-infected (HIV/HBV) adults enrolled between November 2004 and September 2011 at the Management and Development for Health (MDH)-PEPFAR HIV Care and Treatment program in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.


The prevalence of HIV/HBV co-infection was 6.2% (1079/17 539). Compared to HIV patients, HIV/HBV patients were more likely to be male, younger, and more immunosuppressed at ART initiation. Median ART duration was 18.6 [interquartile range (IQR) 4.9–29.5] and 18.2 (IQR 4.2–27.2) months in HIV and HIV/HBV patients, respectively. In multivariate analyses, a trend towards a higher risk of mortality was observed in HIV/HBV patients {hazard ratio 1.18 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.98–1.42], P = 0.07} as well as lower CD4+ cell counts throughout recovery (P < 0.01) and higher risk of moderate-to-severe hepatotoxicity (P values  < 0.01 for alanine transaminase > 120 and >200 IU/l). There was a higher risk of mortality in HIV/HBV patients vs. HIV patients on non-tenofovir (TDF)-containing ART [hazard ratio 1.28 (95% CI 1.02–1.61), P < 0.03], whereas there was no difference in the risk of mortality observed in HIV/HBV patients vs. HIV patients on TDF-containing ART [hazard ratio 0.70 (95% CI 0.34–1.44), P < 0.33]; interaction P = 0.30.


HBV co-infection significantly impacted ART outcomes in this Tanzanian HIV-infected population. Further research is needed to confirm the potential beneficial effects of TDF on mortality in HIV/HBV co-infected individuals in these settings.

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