Objective: To determine prevalence of Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) infection and its risk factors among attendants of Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) center and Anti-retroviral therapy (ART) clinic at St. Paul's General Specialized Hospital.
Methods: A cross- sectional study was carried out on consecutive attendees from January 24, 2007 to February 15, 2007. Blood samples and data on socio-demographic and HBV risk factors were collected from a total of 620 individuals (384 VCT and 236 HIV infected ART Clinic clients). Sera were screened for HBsAg, anti-HBc and HBeAg.
Results: The prevalence of HBsAg and anti-HBc antibody in VCT clients was 5.7% and 44.8%, respectively. Among HIV infected persons, 3.9% were seropositive for HBsAg. There was no significant difference in sero-positivity of HBsAg as well as anti-HBc between HIV positive and HIV negative participants. Anti-HBc positivity was significantly higher in males, in the age range of 40-49 years, and in participants who had history of catheterization.
Conclusion: This study showed high prevalence and similar distribution of HBV infection in HIV positive and HIV negative people. However, with emphasis given to HIV positive cases, screening for HBV infection has importance.