The prevalence of HIV and hepatitis C virus coinfection across South and Southeast Asia varies widely, from 1.2% to 98.5%, according to a new report.
Researchers performed a literature review of 13 studies of coinfection in this area of the world, including one retrospective study, one case-control study and 11 cross-sectional studies. The research was published from 2012 to 2013 and the sample populations ranged from 126 to 16,124.
The review showed that the HIV/HCV coinfection rate was highest in Indonesia, Nepal and Vietnam, and ranged from 34.1% to 98.5%. The coinfection rate was much lower in Thailand (3.3%) and Myanmar (5.3%).
One of the most significant risk factors for coinfection was injection drug use. Among HIV-positive injection drug users in Vietnam, coinfection rates were as high as 89.8% and 98.5%. Other studies suggested risk factors in this population including older age, exposure to multiple parenteral infusions before 2000, surgery and fiber optic scoping.
“The serious epidemics of HIV/HCV coinfection should be emphasized in the prevention and treatment of both diseases in Asia, as there was less published research and fewer evidence prevention strategies compared to Western nations,” the researchers wrote. “Coinfection may accelerate the clinical progress to both diseases, and treatment success for one disease is undermined when the other disease is neglected.”
Source: Ye S. Curr HIV/AIDS Rep. 2014