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Open Access Research article

Hepatitis B Virus infection in HIV-positive population in Brazil: results of a survey in the state of Mato Grosso and a comparative analysis with other regions of Brazil

Rui Alberto Roldão de Almeida Pereira1, Aparecida Duarte Hg Mussi2, Vergínia Correa de Azevedo e Silva2 and Francisco José Dutra Souto13*

Author Affiliations

1 Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Cuiabá, Cuiabá, MT, Brazil

2 Laboratório Central de Mato Grosso, Cuiabá, MT, Brazil

3 Faculdade de Ciências Médicas, Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso, Cuiabá, MT, Brazil

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2006, 6:34  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-6-34

Published: 25 February 2006

Abstract

Background

End-stage liver disease is currently a major concern among HIV-positive individuals due to co-infection with hepatotropic virus. Hepatitis C has been pointed out as a remarkable factor for that. More recently, hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection has also been found to play a role on liver disease in this population. HIV-HBV co-infection prevalence remains largely unknown in vast areas of Brazil. The objective of the present study was to estimate the prevalence of HBV and HDV infection in HIV-infected subjects living in the state of Mato Grosso, in the Central region of Brazil, and compare it to other Brazilian studies. We also assess epidemiologic data regarding risk factors and vaccinal status.

Methods

HIV-positive individuals followed at the Central Laboratory of the Department of Public Health of Mato Grosso in the city of Cuiabá composed the sample. Participants answered a specific questionnaire and had a blood sample taken and tested for serologic markers.

Results

A thousand individuals were interviewed and tested for HBsAg, anti-HBc, anti-HBs and anti-HDV if positive for HBsAg. Measurements of CD4 and viral load for HIV-1 were also performed. Overall prevalence of HBV exposure (anti-HBc +ve) was 40.0%, and 3.7% for HBsAg. This prevalence data was similar or slightly lower than for other Brazilian regions, which ranged from 40% and 3% to 71% and 24%, respectively. Testing for anti-HDV in the 37 HBsAg positive patients was positive in only one subject. Factors that showed independent association with HBV exposure, after adjustment, were: male gender, older age groups, tattooing, and reporting more than ten sexual partners throughout life (p < 0.01). Eighty-one (27.5%) out of 291 HBV-unexposed individuals who reported vaccination were anti-HBs positive. Anti-HBs prevalence was higher among those who had higher levels of CD4 by multivariate analysis.

Conclusion

Our data showed HBV infection prevalence similar or slightly lower than that reported in other regions of Brazil. In addition, our data revealed a less important role for drug injection in the spread of HIV and HBV in Mato Grosso compared to other regions of the country. The high rate of non-vaccinated subjects among this HBV-unexposed, HIV-infected population is a matter of considerable health concern in this region. The relationship between CD4 levels and HBV vaccine response found in the present study reinforces the need of keeping health care workers alert to this issue.