Liver fibrosis in treatment-naïve HIV-infected and HIV/HBV co-infected patients: Zambia and Switzerland compared

Academic Article


  • Objective To examine the association between hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and liver fibrosis in HIV-infected patients in Zambia and Switzerland. Methods HIV-infected adults starting antiretroviral therapy in two clinics in Zambia and Switzerland were included. Liver fibrosis was evaluated using the aspartate aminotransferase-to-platelet-ratio index (APRI), with a ratio >1.5 defining significant fibrosis and a ratio >2.0 indicating cirrhosis. The association between hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) positivity, HBV replication, and liver fibrosis was examined using logistic regression. Results In Zambia, 96 (13.0%) of 739 patients were HBsAg-positive compared to 93 (4.5%) of 2058 in Switzerland. HBsAg-positive patients were more likely to have significant liver fibrosis than HBsAg-negative ones: the adjusted odds ratio (aOR) was 3.25 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.44–7.33) in Zambia and 2.50 (95% CI 1.19–5.25) in Switzerland. Patients with a high HBV viral load (≥20 000 IU/ml) were more likely to have significant liver fibrosis compared to HBsAg-negative patients or patients with an undetectable viral load: aOR 3.85 (95% CI 1.29–11.44) in Zambia and 4.20 (95% CI 1.64–10.76) in Switzerland. In both settings, male sex was a strong risk factor for significant liver fibrosis. Conclusions Despite the differences in HBV natural history between Sub-Saharan Africa and Europe, the degree of liver fibrosis and the association with important risk factors were similar.
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    Author List

  • Wandeler G; Mulenga L; Vinikoor MJ; Kovari H; Battegay M; Calmy A; Cavassini M; Bernasconi E; Schmid P; Bolton-Moore C
  • Start Page

  • 97
  • End Page

  • 102
  • Volume

  • 51