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J Med Virol. 1995 Jul;46(3):269-72.

High prevalence of hepatitis B, C, and E markers in young sexually active adults from the Central African Republic.

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Department of Bacteriology and Virology, Hôpital Henri Mondor, Université Paris XII, Créteil, France.


The Central African Republic is located in tropical Africa, where both the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV) are highly endemic. The exact prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) and hepatitis E virus (HEV) markers in this country is unknown. The aim of the study was to determine, according to HIV and HBV serostatus, the prevalence of these markers in young sexually active adults in the Central African Republic. One hundred and fifty-seven consecutive patients attending the National Centre for Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Bangui were included. The following serological markers were examined: (i) anti-HIV1 and anti-HIV2 antibodies; (ii) markers of HBV infection; (iii) anti-HCV antibodies; (iv) anti-HEV antibodies. Anti-HIV1 antibodies were found in 31 of the 157 patients (20%). The prevalence of anti-HBc antibodies, reflecting exposure to HBV, was 140/157 (89%) and 45 had detectable anti-HBs antibodies. Twenty-two patients (14%) were chronic carriers of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), but only one was HBe antigen-positive. Anti-HCV antibodies were found in 8 persons (5%) and anti-HEV antibodies in 38 (24%). No difference was found in the prevalence of these markers according to the presence or absence of anti-HIV antibodies. This study confirms the high rate of HIV infection, HBV exposure and chronic carriage of HBsAg in sexually active young adults in the Central African Republic. A high prevalence of HCV markers was found in this population, similar to that reported in neighbouring countries, together with a high rate of HEV markers, suggesting that HEV is endemic in this region.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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