Epidemiological characteristics and access to end-stage liver disease care for HIV-positive patients with HCV and/or HBV coinfections in Central/Eastern European and neighboring countries – data from the ECEE network

Przegl Epidemiol. 2019;73(1):61-68. doi: 10.32394/pe.73.07.


Objectives: There is currently an urgent need to harmonize hepatitis standards of care for HIV-positive patients across Europe. The HIV epidemic in Central and Eastern Europe has often been driven by injecting drug use, therefore a higher rate of co-infection with HCV and HBV is expected in this region. We have investigated the epidemiological prevalence and treatment availability for end-stage liver disease in HIV/HCV/HBV coinfections in countries represented in the ECEE Network Group.

Methods: The Euroguidelines in Central and Eastern Europe (ECEE) Network Group was initiated in February 2016 to compare standards of care regarding HIV infection in the region. Information about HIV/HCV/HBV co-infections and the availability for end-stage liver disease treatment for HIV-positive patients were collected through on-line surveys. The respondents were ECEE members from 16 countries of the region. The information on co-infection prevalence was sourced from WHO, national HIV programmes, articles published in international journals, single clinic reports, and personal information in ten of the participating countries (62.5%).

Results: The HIV/HCV co-infection rate was from 3% to 99%. The range of reported of HIV/HBV coinfection percentages was 2.3% to 40%. HIV/HCV/HBV co-infection ranged from 0% to 9%. Regarding treatment for end-stage liver disease, liver transplantation was an available option for HIV-positive patients in only three countries (19%).

Conclusion: Our findings revealed only a limited number of treatment options for the end-stage liver disease in HIV-positive patients for the vast majority of Central and Eastern European countries. There are gaps in epidemiological surveillance in this region. It appears there are many differences in the number of co-infected patients among Central and Eastern European and neighboring countries, but there is no unification of information sources.

Keywords: HIV; HCV; HBV.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Coinfection
  • End Stage Liver Disease / complications
  • End Stage Liver Disease / epidemiology
  • End Stage Liver Disease / therapy*
  • Europe, Eastern / epidemiology
  • Georgia (Republic) / epidemiology
  • Greece / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / complications*
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Hepatitis B / complications*
  • Hepatitis C / complications*
  • Humans
  • Turkey / epidemiology