Original Research

Human immunodeficiency virus infection predictors and genetic diversity of hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus co-infections among drug users in three major Kenyan cities

Micah Oyaro, John Wylie, Chien-Yu Chen, Raphael O. Ondondo, Anna Kramvis
Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine | Vol 19, No 1 | a737 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhivmed.v19i1.737 | © 2018 Micah Oyaro, John Wylie, Chien-Yu Chen, Raphael Ondondo, Anna Kramvis | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 February 2017 | Published: 27 March 2018

About the author(s)

Micah Oyaro, Immunology Unit, Department of Human Pathology, University of Nairobi, Kenya
John Wylie, Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Manitoba, Canada
Chien-Yu Chen, Hepatitis Virus Diversity Research Unit (HVDRU), Department of Internal Medicine, School of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Raphael O. Ondondo, Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, Kenya and Kenya Medical Research Institute, Centre for Microbiology Research, Nairobi, Kenya
Anna Kramvis, Hepatitis Virus Diversity Research Unit (HVDRU), Department of Internal Medicine, School of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Drug users act as reservoirs and transmission channels for hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections to the general population worldwide. Periodic epidemiological studies to monitor the prevalence and genetic diversity of these infections to inform on interventions are limited.

 

Objective of the study: The objective of this study was to determine the predictors of HIV infection and genetic diversity of HBV and HCV among drug users in Kenya.

 

Materials and methods: A cross-sectional study on previous drug use history among drug users was conducted in three Kenyan cities using a respondent-driven sampling method between January 2011 and September 2012. Blood samples were collected and analysed for the presence of HBV, HCV and HIV serological markers and to determine the genotypes of HBV and HCV.

 

Results: The overall prevalence of HBV, HCV and HIV among drug users was 4.3%, 6.5% and 11.1%, respectively, with evidence of HBV/HIV, HCV/HIV and HBV/HCV/HIV co-infections. The HBV circulating genotypes were A1 (69%) and D6 (19%), whereas HCV genotypes were 1a (72%) and 4a (22%). Injection drug use was a significant predictor of HIV/HCV infections. Younger age (30 years; aOR (adjusted odds ratio) = 0.50, 95% CI (confidence interval): 0.33–0.76; p < 0.001) and early sexual debut (aOR = 0.54, 95% CI: 0.40–0.82; p < 0.05) were negatively associated with detection of any of the three infections. Injecting drug use was positively associated with HCV infection (aOR = 5.37, 95% CI: 2.61–11.06; p < 0.001).

 

Conclusion: This high level of genetic diversity exhibited by HBV and HCV isolates requires urgent implementation of harm reduction strategies and continuous monitoring for effective management of the patients.


Keywords

HIV; HBV; HCV; Phylogenetics; Genotypes

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