To determine prevalence, risk factors, and simple identification algorithms for HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C co-infection; factors that may predispose for anti-tuberculosis therapy-induced hepatoxicity.
We recruited 300 individuals at in-patient tuberculosis hospitals in three cities in Georgia, administered a behavioral questionnaire, and tested for antibody to HIV, hepatitis C (HCV), hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc), and the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg).
0.7% of the individuals were HIV positive, 4.3% were HBsAg positive, 8.7% were anti-HBc positive, and 12.0% were HCV positive. In multivariable analysis, a history of blood transfusion, injection drug use, and prison were significant independent risk factors for HCV, while a history of blood transfusion, injection drug use, younger age at sexual debut, and a high number of sex partners were significant risk factors for HBV. Three-questionnaire item algorithms predicted HCV serostatus 74.1% of the time and HBV serostatus 85.2% of the time.
Treatment of tuberculosis patients in resource-limited countries with concurrent epidemics of HCV, HBV, and HIV may be associated with significant hepatoxicity. Serologic screening of tuberculosis patients for HBV, HCV and HIV or using behavioral algorithms to identify patients in need of intensive monitoring during anti-tuberculosis therapy may reduce this risk.