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HIV/HBV co-infection is a significant risk factor for liver fibrosis in Tanzanian HIV-infected adults.


In sub-Saharan Africa, the burden of liver disease associated with chronic hepatitis B (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 co-infection in Tanzania.Using a cross sectional design, we compared the prevalence of liver fibrosis in treatment-naive HIV mono-infected, HBV mono-infected, and HIV/HBV co-infected 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.267 HIV-infected, 165 HBV-infected and 63 HIV/HBV co-infected patients were analyzed [44% male, median age 37 (IQR 14), BMI 23 (7)]. APRI and FIB-4 were strongly correlated (r = 0.78, p = < .001, R2 0.61). Overall median APRI scores were low [HIV/HBV [0.36 (IQR 0.4)], HIV [0.23 (0.17)], HBV [0.29 (0.15)] (p <0.01)]. In multivariate analyses, HIV/HBV co-infection was associated with APRI >0.5 [HIV/HBV vs. HIV: OR 3.78 (95% CI 1.91, 7.50)], [HIV/HBV vs. HBV: OR 2.61 (1.26, 5.44)]. HIV RNA per 1 log10 copies/ml increase [OR 1.53 (95% CI 1.04, 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.HIV/HBV co-infection 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 co-infection is warranted.