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      Hepatitis B and C prevalence and incidence in key population groups with multiple risk factors in the EU/EEA: a systematic review

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          People living with HIV (PLHIV) and people in prison are population groups with a potentially high risk and/or prevalence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.


          We conducted a systematic review in order to find prevalence and incidence estimates in these populations in the European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA).


          Original research articles published between January 2005 and February 2017 were retrieved from PubMed and Embase in February 2017.


          Fifty-two articles were included, providing 97 estimates of HBV/HCV infection prevalence or incidence. Estimates of HBV infection prevalence ranged between 2.9% and43.4% in PLHIV and 0.0% and 25.2% in people in prison. Estimates of HCV infection prevalence ranged from 2.9% to 43.4% in PLHIV and 0.0% to 25.2% in people in prison. Incidence estimates ranged between 0.0 and 2.5 cases per 100 person-years for HBV infection in PLHIV. No such data was available for people in prison. HCV infection incidence ranged between 0.3 and 0.9 cases per 100 person-years in PLHIV and between 1 and 1.2 cases per 100 person-years in people in prison. Prevalence estimates were generally higher than in the general population, especially for HCV infection and among groups with multiple risk factors.


          PLHIV, people in prison and groups with multiple risk factors, have a high prevalence of HBV and HCV and may be at ongoing risk of infection. These groups should be among the populations prioritised and targeted for active case finding and prevention programmes in the EU/EEA.

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          Most cited references 66

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          The natural history of hepatitis C virus infection: host, viral, and environmental factors.

          Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection may resolve (viral clearance), persist without complications, or cause end-stage liver disease (ESLD). The frequency and determinants of these outcomes are poorly understood. To assess the incidence and determinants of viral clearance and ESLD among persons who acquired HCV infection from injection drug use. Community-based prospective cohort study with enrollment in 1988-1989 and a median follow-up of 8.8 years. A total of 1667 persons aged 17 years or older with a history of injection drug use and an HCV antibody-positive test result during follow-up. Viral clearance was assessed in a subset of 919 patients and defined as failure to detect HCV RNA in at least 2 consecutive samples collected 5 or more months apart. End-stage liver disease was assessed at semiannual visits and by review of medical records and death certificates and defined by the presence of ascites, esophageal varices, or hepatic encephalopathy, or when ESLD was stated as a cause of death. Viral clearance was observed in 90 persons who were compared with 722 with persistent viremia, while the viremia of 107 was not resolved. Viral clearance occurred more often in nonblacks (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 5.15; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.60-10.17) and those not infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) (adjusted OR, 2.19; 95% CI, 1.26-3.47). Forty cases of ESLD were observed throughout follow-up (incidence, 3.1 per 1000 person-years). In a multivariate model, risk of ESLD was higher for persons aged 38 years or older at enrollment (adjusted relative incidence, 3.67; 95% CI, 1.96-6.88) and who reported ingestion of more than 260 g of alcohol per week (adjusted relative incidence, 3.60; 95% CI, 1.73-7.52). Of 210 patients without ESLD randomly selected for biopsy, only 2 had cirrhosis. Our results indicate that although HCV infection can be self-limited or associated with ESLD, the majority of adults have persistent viremia without clinically demonstrable liver disease. Further research is needed to explain the less frequent clearance of HCV infection among black persons and to improve utilization of treatment for those infected in the context of injection drug use. JAMA. 2000;284:450-456
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            Incidence and prevalence of hepatitis C in prisons and other closed settings: results of a systematic review and meta-analysis.

            People detained in prisons and other closed settings are at elevated risk of infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV). We undertook a systematic review and meta-analysis with the aim of determining the rate of incident HCV infection and the prevalence of anti-HCV among detainees in closed settings. We systematically searched databases of peer-reviewed literature and widely distributed a call for unpublished data. We calculated summary estimates of incidence and prevalence among general population detainees and detainees with a history of injection drug use (IDU), and explored heterogeneity through stratification and meta-regression. The summary prevalence estimates were used to estimate the number of anti-HCV positive prisoners globally. HCV incidence among general detainees was 1.4 per 100 person-years (py; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.1, 2.7; k = 4), and 16.4 per 100 py (95% CI: 0.8, 32.1; k = 3) among detainees with a history of IDU. The summary prevalence estimate of anti-HCV in general detainees was 26% (95% CI: 23%, 29%; k = 93), and in detainees with a history of IDU, 64% (95% CI: 58%, 70%; k = 51). The regions of highest prevalence were Central Asia (38%; 95% CI 32%, 43%; k = 1) and Australasia (35%; 95% CI: 28%, 43%; k = 9). We estimate that 2.2 million (range: 1.4-2.9 million) detainees globally are anti-HCV positive, with the largest populations in North America (668,500; range: 553,500-784,000) and East and Southeast Asia (638,000; range: 332,000-970,000). HCV is a significant concern in detained populations, with one in four detainees anti-HCV-positive. Epidemiological data on the extent of HCV infection in detained populations is lacking in many countries. Greater attention towards prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of HCV infection among detained populations is urgently required. Copyright © 2013 by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.
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              Viral hepatitis and HIV coinfection.

              Persons at high risk for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection are also likely to be at risk for other infectious pathogens, including hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV). These are bloodborne pathogens transmitted through similar routes; for example, via injection drug use (IDU), sexual contact, or from mother to child during pregnancy or birth. In some settings, the prevalence of coinfection with HBV and/or HCV is high. In the context of effective antiretroviral therapy (ART), liver disease has emerged as a major cause of morbidity and mortality in HIV-infected persons. Further, coinfection with viral hepatitis may complicate the delivery of ART by increasing the risk of drug-related hepatoxicity and impacting the selection of specific agents (e.g., those dually active against HIV and HBV). Expert guidelines developed in the United States and Europe recommend screening of all HIV-infected persons for infection with HCV and HBV and appropriate management of those found to be chronically infected. Treatment strategies for HBV infection include the use of nucleos(t)ide analogues with or without anti-HIV activity and/or peginterferon alfa (PegIFN) whereas HCV treatment is limited to the combination of PegIFN and ribavirin (RBV). Current approaches to management of HIV-infected persons coinfected with HBV or HCV are discussed in this review.

                Author and article information

                Euro Surveill
                Euro Surveill
                European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)
                25 July 2019
                : 24
                : 30
                [1 ]Pallas Health Research and Consultancy B.V., Rotterdam, Netherlands
                [2 ]European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Stockholm, Sweden
                [3 ]National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, Netherlands
                [4 ]Current affiliation: University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy
                Author notes

                Correspondence: Lauren MK Mason ( laurenmasonboersma@ 123456gmail.com )

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                This article is copyright of the authors or their affiliated institutions, 2019.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) Licence. You may share and adapt the material, but must give appropriate credit to the source, provide a link to the licence, and indicate if changes were made.

                Systematic Review
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                hepatitis b, hepatitis c, epidemiology, plhiv, prisoners


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