Hepatitis B virus and human immunodeficiency virus co-infection in sub-Saharan Africa: A call for further investigation

Rosemary J. Burnett*, G. Francois, M. C. Kew, G. Leroux-Roels, A. Meheus, A. A. Hoosen, M. J. Mphahlele

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

109 Citations (Scopus)


A growing body of evidence indicates that human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive individuals are more likely to be infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV) than HIV-negative individuals, possibly as a result of shared risk factors. There is also evidence that HIV-positive individuals who are subsequently infected with HBV are more likely to become HBV chronic carriers, have a high HBV replication rate, and remain hepatitis Be antigen positive for a much longer period. In addition, it is evident that immunosuppression brought about by HIV infection may cause reactivation or reinfection in those previously exposed to HBV. Furthermore, HIV infection exacerbates liver disease in HBV co-infected individuals, and there is an even greater risk of liver disease when HIV and HBV co-infected patients are treated with highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART). Complicating matters further, there have been several reports linking HIV infection to 'sero-silent' HBV infections, which presents serious problems for diagnosis, prevention, and control. In sub-Saharan Africa, where both HIV and HBV are endemic, little is known about the burden of co-infection and the interaction between these two viruses. This paper reviews studies that have investigated HIV and HBV co-infection in sub-Saharan Africa, against a backdrop of what is currently known about the interactions between these two viruses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-213
Number of pages13
JournalLiver International
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2005


  • Co-infecntion
  • HBV
  • HBV and HIV co-infection
  • HIV
  • Sub-Saharan Africa


Dive into the research topics of 'Hepatitis B virus and human immunodeficiency virus co-infection in sub-Saharan Africa: A call for further investigation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this