Prevalence and burden of HBV co-infection among people living with HIV: A global systematic review and meta-analysis

Lucy Platt, Clare E. French, Catherine R. McGowan, Keith Sabin, Erin E Gower, Adam Trickey, Bethan McDonald, Jason J. Ong, Jack Stone, Philippa J. Easterbrook, Peter T Vickerman

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78 Citations (Scopus)


Globally, in 2017 35 million people were living with HIV (PLHIV) and 257 million had chronic HBV infection (HBsAg positive). The extent of HIV-HBsAg co-infection is unknown. We undertook a systematic review to estimate the global burden of HBsAg co-infection in PLHIV. We searched MEDLINE, Embase and other databases for published studies (2002-2018) measuring prevalence of HBsAg among PLHIV. The review was registered with PROSPERO (#CRD42019123388). Populations were categorized by HIV-exposure category. The global burden of co-infection was estimated by applying regional co-infection prevalence estimates to UNAIDS estimates of PLHIV. We conducted a meta-analysis to estimate the odds of HBsAg among PLHIV compared to HIV-negative individuals. We identified 506 estimates (475 studies) of HIV-HBsAg co-infection prevalence from 80/195 (41.0%) countries. Globally, the prevalence of HIV-HBsAg co-infection is 7.6% (IQR 5.6%-12.1%) in PLHIV, or 2.7 million HIV-HBsAg co-infections (IQR 2.0-4.2). The greatest burden (69% of cases; 1.9 million) is in sub-Saharan Africa. Globally, there was little difference in prevalence of HIV-HBsAg co-infection by population group (approximately 6%-7%), but it was slightly higher among people who inject drugs (11.8% IQR 6.0%-16.9%). Odds of HBsAg infection were 1.4 times higher among PLHIV compared to HIV-negative individuals. There is therefore, a high global burden of HIV-HBsAg co-infection, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Key prevention strategies include infant HBV vaccination, including a timely birth-dose. Findings also highlight the importance of targeting PLHIV, especially high-risk groups for testing, catch-up HBV vaccination and other preventative interventions. The global scale-up of antiretroviral therapy (ART) for PLHIV using a tenofovir-based ART regimen provides an opportunity to simultaneously treat those with HBV co-infection, and in pregnant women to also reduce mother-to-child transmission of HBV alongside HIV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)294-315
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Viral Hepatitis
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • co-infection
  • hepatitis B
  • HIV
  • systematic review
  • viral hepatitis

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