Background: Coinfection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients is common. However, little is known about the natural history of chronic hepatitis B in HIV-infected populations, especially the impact of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) on the outcome of HBV early antigen (HBeAg) and HBV surface antigen (HBsAg) status.
Methods: The characteristics of 92 patients coinfected with HIV and HBV were retrospectively assessed before and after HAART and lamivudine treatment to determine the impact of treatment on chronic hepatitis B and factors associated with HBeAg and/or HBsAg seroconversion.
Results: During follow-up, 82 patients received antiretroviral therapy, 79 of whom received HAART. Twenty-eight of the 76 patients who were administered lamivudine therapy developed lamivudine resistance mutations. While receiving antiretroviral therapy, 10 of 59 HBeAg-positive patients developed antibody to HBeAg, 3 of 10 cleared HBsAg, and 2 of 3 developed antibody to HBsAg. Two of 23 HBeAg-negative patients cleared HBsAg and developed antibody to HBsAg. HBeAg and/or HBsAg seroconversion combined with an undetectable HBV DNA level (i.e., an HBV response) correlated with a sustained HIV response (P=.001), shorter duration of antiretroviral therapy (P=.058), and more-severe disease, as evaluated by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention staging (for stage B vs. stage A, P=.029; for stage C vs. stage A, P=.069). For patients with elevated baseline alanine aminotransferase levels, the HBV response correlated significantly with a greater increase in CD4 cell count while receiving HAART.
Conclusions: In HIV-HBV-coinfected patients, HBV response correlated with a sustained HIV response to antiretroviral therapy, usually HAART including lamivudine.