Abstract

Treatment experiences with patients co-infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV) in resource-limited settings remain poorly documented. This study aimed to evaluate the treatment outcomes in a cohort of HIV/HBV co-infected individuals receiving tenofovir/lamivudine (TDF/3TC)-based antiretroviral therapy (ART) in a programmatic setting in Mumbai, India. Additionally, a cross-sectional laboratory study was carried out measuring serologic and virologic parameters. A total of 57 patients who received TDF/3TC were included in the study. Of these, 52 (91%) were male and the mean age was 38.7 years. The median follow-up period was 16.8 months (IQR:7.9–37.9). Forty-three patients were included in the cross-sectional laboratory study, of whom 38 (67%) were HBeAg+ positive. Four patients had serum HBsAg conversion to negative and had developed anti-HBs-antibodies. HBV-DNA became undetectable (<1.3 log10 copies/ml or <20 IU/ml) in 35.5% and 75% of the HBeAg+ and HBeAg patients, respectively. Overall, 46.5% of patients had undetectable HBV-DNA and 90.7% had adequately suppressed HBV-DNA (<3.3 log10 copies/ml or <2000 IU/ml). The median reduction in serum HBV-DNA was 6 log10 copies/ml. In 29 patients (63%) HIV viral load was undetectable. Outcomes included seven (12%) deaths, four (7%) lost to follow-up, one (2%) transferred out and 45 (79%) alive and on treatment. In conclusion, good treatment outcomes were achieved in a cohort of HIV/HBV co-infected patients in India. In regions with a high HIV/HBV burden, all HIV-infected individuals should be tested for chronic hepatitis B. A TDF/3TC-backbone could be considered as first-line standardized ART regimen in these settings.

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