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<jats:p>Objective: Prompted by international targets for elimination of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, we performed a cross-sectional observational study of adults with chronic HBV (CHB) infection in South Africa, characterising individuals with HBV monoinfection vs. those coinfected with HBV/HIV, to evaluate the impact of therapy and to guide improvements in clinical care as guidelines for antiviral therapy change over time. Design: We prospectively recruited 115 adults with CHB, over a period of one year at a university hospital in Cape Town, South Africa. HIV coinfection was present in 39 (34%) subjects. We recorded cross-sectional demographic, clinical and laboratory data. Results: Adults with HBV monoinfection were comparable to those with HBV/HIV coinfection in terms of age, sex and body mass. HBeAg-positive status was more common among those with HIV coinfection (p=0.01). However, compared to HBV/HIV coinfection, HBV monoinfected patients were less likely to have had assessment with elastography (p&lt;0.0001) and less likely to be on antiviral treatment (p&lt;0.0001). The HBV monoinfected group was more likely to have detectable HBV viraemia (p=0.04), and features suggesting underlying liver disease including moderate/severe thrombocytopaenia (p=0.007), elevated bilirubin (p=0.004), and APRI score &gt;2 (p=0.02). Three cases of hepatocellular carcinoma were documented, all in patients with HBV monoinfection. Conclusion: In this setting, individuals with HBV monoinfection are disadvantaged in terms of clinical assessment and appropriate antiviral therapy compared to those with HIV coinfection, associated with relatively worse liver health. Enhanced advocacy, education, resources and infrastructure are required to optimise interventions for CHB.</jats:p>

Original publication




Journal article


Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

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