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Hepatitis C virus and Human Immunodeficiency Virus coinfection among attendants of Voluntary Counseling and Testing Centre and HIV follow up clinics in Mekelle Hospital

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      Hepatitis C virus remains a large health care burden to the world. HIV and HCV coinfection is major global health concern worldwide. However, there is limited information on the prevalence of HCV/HIV co-infection in Ethiopia. The aim of the study was to assess the magnitude of HIV/HCV coinfection and the potential risk factors in attendants of voluntary counseling and testing centre and HIV follow up clinics of Mekelle hospital.


      A cross sectional seroprevalence survey of HCV infection was carried out on 300 HIV negative and positive subjects attending voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) center and HIV follow up clinics of Mekelle hospital, Ethiopia from December 2010-February 2011. Serum samples were tested for anti-HCV antibodies using immunochromatographic test.


      Of the 300 study participants, 126(42%) were HIV negative and 174(58%) HIV seropositive from VCT and HIV follow up clinics, respectively. The overall anti-HCV prevalence was 18(6.0%). There were no significant differences in HCV seroprevalence among the different categories of age and sex (p> 0.05). Of the 174 persons with HIV, 16 (9.2%) cases had antibodies to HCV, where as among 126 HIV negative subjects 2 (1.58%) were HCV seropositive (p= 0.006, OR= 6.28, 95% CI= 1.42-27.82).


      Accordingly, there was a significant difference in sero-positivity of HCV between HIV positive and HIV negative participants. No apparent risk factor that caused HCV infection was inferred from this study.

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      Most cited references 35

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        Worldwide, hepatitis B virus (HBV) accounts for an estimated 370 million chronic infections, hepatitis C virus (HCV) for an estimated 130 million, and HIV for an estimated 40 million. In HIV-infected persons, an estimated 2-4 million have chronic HBV co-infection and 4-5 million have HCV co-infection. HBV, HCV and HIV share common routes of transmission, but they differ in their prevalence by geographic region and the efficiency by which certain types of exposures transmit them. Among HIV-positive persons studied from Western Europe and the USA, chronic HBV infection has been found in 6-14% overall, including 4-6% of heterosexuals, 9-17% of men who have sex with men (MSM), and 7-10% of injection drug users. HCV infection has been found in 25-30% of HIV-positive persons overall; 72-95% of injection drug users, 1-12% of MSM and 9-27% of heterosexuals. The characteristics of HIV infected persons differ according to the co-infecting hepatitis virus, their epidemiologic patterns may change over time, and surveillance systems are needed to monitor their infection patterns in order to ensure that prevention measures are targeted appropriately.
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          The Natural History of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Infection

          Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a leading cause of chronic liver disease, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma, as well as the most common indication for liver transplantation in many countries. Although the incidence of hepatitis C infection has dramatically decreased during the past decade, the worldwide reservoir of chronically infected persons is estimated at 170 million, or 3% of the global population. There is much controversy surrounding the natural history of hepatitis C infection. The rate of chronic HCV infection is affected by a person's age, gender, race, and viral immune response. Approximately 75%-85% of HCV-infected persons will progress to chronic HCV infection, and are at risk for the development of extrahepatic manifestations, compensated and decompensated cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The rate of progression to cirrhosis is highly variable, and is influenced by several factors, including the amount of alcohol consumption, age of initial HCV infection, degree of inflammation and fibrosis on liver biopsy, HIV and HBV coinfection, and comordid conditions. An estimated 10%-15% of HCV-infected persons will advance to cirrhosis within the first 20 years. Persons with cirrhosis are at increased risk of developing HCC. An understanding of the natural history of hepatitis C is essential to effectively manage, treat, and counsel individuals with HCV infection.

            Author and article information

            [1 ]Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Parasitology, School of Medicine, Wollega University, P.O.Box 395, Nekemte, Ethiopia
            [2 ]Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Parasitology, School of Medicine, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
            [3 ]Armauer Hansen Research Institute, P.O.Box 1005, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
            Author notes
            [& ]Corresponding author: Adane Mihret, Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Parasitology, School of Medicine, Addis Ababa University, Armauer Hansen Research Institute, P.O.Box 1005, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
            Pan Afr Med J
            Pan Afr Med J
            The Pan African Medical Journal
            The African Field Epidemiology Network
            18 March 2013
            : 14
            23717721 3664887 PAMJ-14-107 10.11604/pamj.2013.14.107.2302
            © Haftom Hadush et al.

            The Pan African Medical Journal - ISSN 1937-8688. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



            seroprevalence, hepatitis c virus, human immunodeficiency virus, co-infection


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