Original Research

Incidence of hepatitis C virus infection among people living with HIV: An Egyptian cohort study

Fatma Elrashdy, Suzan Haga, Rahma Mohamed, Shereen Abdel Alem, Safa Meshaal, Ahmed Cordie, Aisha Elsharkawy, Gamal Esmat
Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine | Vol 23, No 1 | a1442 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhivmed.v23i1.1442 | © 2022 Fatma Elrashdy, Suzan Hagag, Rahma Mohamed, Shereen Abdel Alem, Safa Meshaal, Ahmed Cordie, Aisha Elsharkawy, Gamal Esmat | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 August 2022 | Published: 09 November 2022

About the author(s)

Fatma Elrashdy, Department of Endemic Medicine and Hepatology, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt
Suzan Haga, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt
Rahma Mohamed, Department of Endemic Medicine and Hepatology, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt; and, Kasr Al-Aini HIV and Viral Hepatitis Fighting Group, Cairo University Hospitals, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt
Shereen Abdel Alem, Department of Endemic Medicine and Hepatology, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt
Safa Meshaal, Department of Clinical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt
Ahmed Cordie, Department of Endemic Medicine and Hepatology, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt; and, Kasr Al-Aini HIV and Viral Hepatitis Fighting Group, Cairo University Hospitals, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt
Aisha Elsharkawy, Department of Endemic Medicine and Hepatology, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt
Gamal Esmat, Department of Endemic Medicine and Hepatology, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt


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Abstract

Background: Egypt used to have one of the highest hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection prevalence rates worldwide, with an estimated HCV prevalence of around 4.5% to 6.7%.

Objectives: To determine the HCV infection incidence rate amid Egyptian patients living with HIV.

Method: A total of 460 HIV-positive patients were recruited in a retrospective cohort study from Imbaba Fever Hospital, Cairo, between January 2016 and March 2019. The patients had a negative baseline and at least one other HCV antibody test. Hepatitis C virus antibody testing was done by antibody sandwich third-generation enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The hepatitis C virus infection incidence rate among HIV-infected patients was calculated using the person-time incidence rate.

Results: Two hundred and eighteen patients were finally included: 146 (31.7%) patients were excluded for having a positive baseline HCV Ab result and 96 patients were excluded for not having a follow-up HCV Ab test. Eighteen patients had HCV seroconversion (8.3%), achieving an incidence rate of 4.06 cases per 100 person-years (95% confidence interval: 3.87–4.24). Injection drug use (IDU) was the commonest risk factor among seroconverters, with an HCV incidence rate of 7.08 cases per 100 person-years. Injection drug use history was reported in 83.3% of the seroconverters and in only 47.2% of non-seroconverters; P = 0.005.

Conclusion: Egyptian HIV-infected patients show a high incidence rate of HCV infection especially among those who have a history of IDU. Accordingly, attention should be paid for prevention, screening and timely treatment of HCV in patients infected with HIV.

What this study adds: The demonstration of a high HCV infection incidence rate among HIV-infected patients and shows the need for screening and prevention in this population.


Keywords

incidence rate of HCV; HCV screening; people living with HIV; Egypt; IDU; HCV seroconversion

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