Background: Hepatitis B (HBV)-HIV coinfection is associated with liver inflammation, which can progress to liver fibrosis/cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. We determined HBV seroprevalence in children and adolescents participating in the TREAT Asia Pediatric HIV Observational Database.
Methods: A multisite cross-sectional study was conducted in HIV-infected patients currently <25 years old receiving antiretroviral treatment (ART) who had HBV surface antigen (HBsAg), or HBV surface antibody (anti-HBs) or HBV core antibody (anti-HBc) tested during 2012-2013. HBV coinfection was defined as having either a positive HBsAg test or being anti-HBc positive and anti-HBs negative, reflective of past HBV infection. HBV seroprotection was defined as having a positive anti-HBs test.
Results: A total of 3380 patients from 6 countries (Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia and India) were included. The current median (interquartile range) age was 11.2 (7.8-15.1) years. Of the 2755 patients (81.5%) with HBsAg testing, 130 (4.7%) were positive. Of 1558 (46%) with anti-HBc testing, 77 (4.9%) were positive. Thirteen of 1037 patients with all 3 tests were anti-HBc positive and HBsAg and anti-HBs negative. One child was positive for anti-HBc and negative for anti-HBs but did not have HBsAg tested. The prevalence of HBV coinfection was 144/2759 (5.2%) (95% confidence interval: 4.4-6.1). Of 1093 patients (32%) with anti-HBs testing, 257 (23.5%; confidence interval: 21.0-26.0) had positive tests representing HBV seroprotection.
Conclusions: The estimated prevalence of HBV coinfection in this cohort of Asian HIV-infected children and adolescents on ART was 5.2%. The majority of children and adolescents tested in this cohort (76.5%) did not have protective HBV antibody. The finding supports HBV screening of HIV-infected children and adolescents to guide revaccination, the use of ART with anti-HBV activity and future monitoring.