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J Clin Gastroenterol. 1996 Jun;22(4):299-304.

The interaction of human immunodeficiency virus infection and hepatitis B virus infection in infected homosexual men.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Toronto Hospital, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


A retrospective analysis of 99 hepatitis B-positive homosexual men with known human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) status was conducted to study the interaction of concurrent HIV infection on the course of their chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. All 99 subjects had chronic hepatitis B, 43 of whom were HIV antibody negative and 56 of whom were HIV antibody positive at the time of their initial presentation. Serial serum aminotransferase levels were used as an indirect estimate of the severity of hepatic inflammation. Factors that may influence the course of hepatitis B, HIV status, hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg)/hepatitis B e antibody (HBeAb) status, alcohol intake, and zidovudine (AZT) therapy were correlated with aminotransferase values. Overall, there was no difference in mean serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels between HIV antibody-negative and HIV antibody-positive patients. There is a higher prevalence rate of HBeAg in HIV antibody-positive patients (p < 0.05), and the seroconversion rate from HBeAg to HBeAb was lower in HIV antibody-positive patients compared with HIV antibody-negative patients (p < 0.05). However, reactivation rates from HBeAb to HBeAg were no different in the HIV antibody-positive and negative hepatitis B carriers. With mild, moderate, or heavy alcohol intake, we observed no statistically significant difference in mean serum alanine aminotransferase levels and no mean serum aspartate aminotransferase levels between HIV antibody-negative patients versus HIV antibody-positive patients. Similarly, there was no significant difference in the pattern of serum aminotransferase in those subjects treated with or without AZT. The mortality rates were higher in HIV antibody-positive patients (n = 8) compared with in HIV antibody-negative patients (n = 2). Seventy-five percent (n = 6) of the HIV antibody-positive patients died from acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), and overall only two patients died of liver disease, one in each group. We conclude that there is no overt influence by HIV or the treatment thereof on the course of chronic HBV infection in a population of homosexual men. In HIV-infected patients, death from AIDS predominated; hence, the main target for therapy should be HIV rather than HBV.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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