Brief Report: HIV/HBV Coinfection is a Significant Risk Factor for Liver Fibrosis in Tanzanian HIV-Infected Adults

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Abstract

Background:

In sub-Saharan Africa, the burden of liver disease associated with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) and HIV is unknown. We characterized liver disease using aspartate aminotransferase-to-platelet ratio index (APRI) and FIB-4 in patients with HIV, HBV, and HIV/HBV coinfection in Tanzania.

Methods:

Using a cross-sectional design, we compared the prevalence of liver fibrosis in treatment-naive HIV monoinfected, HBV monoinfected, and HIV/HBV-coinfected adults enrolled at Management and Development for Health (MDH)-supported HIV treatment clinics in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Risk factors associated with significant fibrosis (APRI >0.5 and FIB-4 >1.45) were examined.

Results:

Two hundred sixty-seven HIV-infected, 165 HBV-infected, and 63 HIV/HBV-coinfected patients were analyzed [44% men, median age 37 (interquartile range 14), body mass index 23 (7)]. APRI and FIB-4 were strongly correlated (r = 0.78, P < 0.001, R2 = 0.61). Overall median APRI scores were low {HIV/HBV [0.36 (interquartile range 0.4)], HIV [0.23 (0.17)], HBV [0.29 (0.15)] (P < 0.01)}. In multivariate analyses, HIV/HBV coinfection was associated with APRI >0.5 [HIV/HBV vs. HIV: odds ratio (OR) 3.78 (95% confidence interval: 1.91 to 7.50)], [HIV/HBV vs. HBV: OR 2.61 (1.26 to 5.44)]. HIV RNA per 1 log10 copies/mL increase [OR 1.53 (95% confidence interval: 1.04 to 2.26)] and HBV DNA per 1 log10 copies/mL increase [OR 1.36 (1.15, 1.62)] were independently associated with APRI >0.5 in HIV-infected and HBV-infected patients, respectively.

Conclusions:

HIV/HBV coinfection is an important risk factor for significant fibrosis. Higher levels of circulating HIV and HBV virus may play a direct role in liver fibrogenesis. Prompt diagnosis and aggressive monitoring of liver disease in HIV/HBV coinfection is warranted.

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