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Virol J. 2011 May 11;8:216. doi: 10.1186/1743-422X-8-216.

Share of Afghanistan populace in hepatitis B and hepatitis C infection's pool: is it worthwhile?

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Molecular Parasitology and Virology Laboratory, Department of Zoology, Kohat University of Science and Technology, Kohat 26000, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pakistan.


There is a notable dearth of data about Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) and Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) prevalence in Afghanistan. Awareness program and research capacity in the field of hepatitis are very limited in Afghanistan. Number of vulnerabilities and patterns of risk behaviors signal the need to take action now. Thirty one studies dating from October 2003 to 2011 were included, consisting the data of 132,981 individuals for HBV and 132,500 individuals for HCV. Percentage prevalence was 1.9% for HBV and 1.1% for HCV in all available Afghanistan population. Most at risk population to hepatitis include injecting drug users who share needles and female sex workers, while truck drivers, prisoners and homosexual men needs attention, as their statistical figure are missing. Data suggests that high incidence of intravenous drug use, sexual activities, unsafe blood transfusion procedures and mobility are major risk factors for hepatitis transmission. This review is based on analysis of the limited available data in Afghanistan. Although there are many underlying vulnerability factors, it appears that Afghanistan remains at an early epidemic phase. Further research is required to determine the seroprevalence and prevalent genotype(s) of HBV and HCV in all provinces in Afghanistan. This article provides some key insights into the potential and likely future transmission dynamics of hepatitis which will serve as a guide in the identification of priority areas in term of high risk groups and risk behaviours in the country and will assist to develop urgent strategic plans to combat the future burden of hepatitis in Afghanistan.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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