Hepatitis B virus coinfection is associated with high early mortality in HIV-infected Tanzanians on antiretroviral therapy

Beatrice Christian, Emanuel Fabian, Irene Macha, Shida Mpangala, Chloe L. Thio, Nzovu Ulenga, Ferdinand Mugusi, Lauren R. Ammerman, Wafaie Fawzi, Richard Green, Robert Murphy, Claudia Hawkins*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


There is limited data on the effect of antiviral therapies on clinical outcomes in HIV and hepatitis B virus (HBV)-infected individuals in sub-Saharan Africa.Design:Single center, prospective longitudinal cohort study at Management and Development for Health supported HIV Care and Treatment clinics in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.Methods:Between April 2014 and December 2015, HIV-infected, HBV-infected and HIV/HBV-coinfected, treatment naïve, Tanzanian adults more than 18 years of age were eligible for enrollment and followed for 10-18 months after initiating antivirals. All HIV-infected and HIV/HBV-coinfected participants received tenofovir, lamivudine and efavirenz; HBV-infected participants received lamivudine. Multivariate regression models were constructed to identify factors associated with mortality in HIV-infected and HIV/HBV-coinfected participants.Results:A total of 265 HIV-infected, 165 HBV-infected and 64 HIV/HBV-coinfected participants were analyzed. At baseline, HBV-infected participants were younger and had a higher BMI than HIV-infected and HIV/HBV-coinfected participants. After a median of 371 (interquartile range 50) days on treatment, there were 40 deaths. Mortality was significantly higher among HIV/HBV-coinfected participants compared with HIV and HBV-infected participants [HIV/HBV-coinfected 12 of 64 (19%) vs. HIV-infected 26 of 265 (10%) and HBV-infected two of 265 (1%), P<0.01]. High baseline HIV RNA and low hemoglobin levels, but not HBV coinfection were independently associated with early mortality in multivariate analyses of HIV-infected participants.Conclusion:High rates of early mortality were observed after treatment initiation in HIV/HBV-coinfected individuals compared with participants with HIV or HBV alone, despite robust aspartate aminotransferase to platelet ratio index declines and high rates of virologic suppression. HIV rather than HBV-related factors are more important contributors to mortality in these individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)465-473
Number of pages9
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019


  • HIV
  • antiviral therapy
  • aspartate aminotransferase to platelet ratio index
  • hepatitis B virus
  • liver fibrosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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