Prevalence and Associated Risk Factors of Hepatitis B Virus Infections Among HIV-1 Infected Patients Attending the Comprehensive Care Clinic in Malindi Sub-County Hospital in Kenya

James Gitau Komu, James Mburu Kangethe, Alex Maiyo, Juliette Ongus, Raphael Lwembe


Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) co-infections are common all over the world. Infection with HIV increases rates of HBV chronicity, prolong the time the HBV stays in circulation and increase liver-related morbidity. Factors such as intravenous drug use, multiple blood transfusions, presence of tattoos, unsafe sexual practices and being health workers have been implicated as drivers of infection & transmission of HBV & HIV. This study aimed to determine the prevalence and genotypes of HBV associated risk factors among HIV infected patients in a descriptive cross-sectional study. Malindi was chosen as a suitable study site because of the high numbers of residents involved in sex tourism as well as intravenous drug use. A structured questionnaire was used to capture social demographic data such as age, gender, employment status, occupation, the level of education and marital status, clinical history information such as duration since diagnosis with HIV, ART drug history, duration taking ARVs and baseline CD4 count and risk factors associated with HBV infections such as intravenous drug use, history of blood transfusion, tattooing/scarification, and the sexual history from 446 consenting randomly selected HIV infected participants. Five millilitres of whole blood was obtained from each participant, 50µl of which was used for CD4 cell counts using a flow cytometer. HBsAg serology was done using Diaspot® rapid diagnostic test and confirmed by Hepanostika® HBsAg Ultra ELISA kit (BioMérieux SA) and HBV DNA was extracted from all HBsAg positive samples. Nested polymerise chain (PCR) reaction and sequencing of the Pre S1 region was done. Sample sequences were compared with published HBV genotypes sequences from GenBank and Phylogenetic trees were constructed using the NJ Plot software using a PHB file created through DNA Database of Japan (DDBJ) to determine the HBV genotypes. Out of the 446 HIV positive participants, 126 (28.3%) were males and 320 (71.7%) females. Only 19/446 (4.26%) participants were positive for HBV based on rapid strip test while 22/446 (4.93%) participants had HBV based on ELISA. Twelve of the 22 ELISA positive samples were successfully amplified by PCR. Out of the 12 PCR positive samples 10 were successfully sequenced. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that 9/10 (90%) samples belonged to genotype A while 1/10 (10%) belonged to genotype E. Males (p=0.028) and intravenous drug use (p= 0.08) were significantly associated HBV infections. The high prevalence (4.9%) of HBV among HIV patients attending Malindi Sub-county hospital is most likely highly driven by intravenous drug use and multiple sexual partners among the male gender and is predominantly genotypes A and E which is similar to the general population.

Keywords: Hepatitis B virus, HIV, Co-infection, HBsAg, genotypes, intravenous drug use

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3208 ISSN (Online)2225-093X

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