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BACKGROUND: The prevalence of HIV/hepatitis co-infection in sub-Saharan Africa is not well documented, while both HIV and HBV are endemic in this area. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to determine the seroprevalence of HBV and HCV virus in HIV-infected subjects in the Gambia. METHODS: Plasma samples from HIV infected patients (190 individuals with clinically defined AIDS and 382 individuals without AIDS) were tested retrospectively for the presence of HBV sero-markers and for serum HBV DNA, screened for HCV infection by testing for anti-HCV antibody and HCV RNA. RESULTS: HBsAg prevalence in HIV-positive individuals is 12.2%. HIV/HBV co-infected individuals with CD4 count of <200 cells µL⁻¹ have a higher HBV DNA viral load than patients with higher CD4 count (log 4.0 vs. log 2.0 DNA copies/ml, p < 0.05). Males (OR = 1.8, 95% CI: 1.0, 3.2) were more likely to be HBsAg positive than female. HCV seroprevalence was 0.9% in HIV-positive individuals. CONCLUSION: The prevalence of HBsAg carriage in HIV- infected Gambians is similar to that obtained in the general population. However co-infected individuals with reduced CD4 levels, indicative of AIDS had higher prevalence of HBeAg retention and elevated HBV DNA levels compared to non-AIDS patients with higher CD4 count.

Original publication




Journal article


Virol J

Publication Date





Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, CD4 Lymphocyte Count, Child, Child, Preschool, Comorbidity, DNA, Viral, Female, Gambia, HIV Infections, HIV-1, HIV-2, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis B Surface Antigens, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis C Antibodies, Humans, Infant, Male, Middle Aged, RNA, Viral, Retrospective Studies, Seroepidemiologic Studies, Young Adult