5 Dec 2014

Clinical presentation of risk factors of hepatitis C virus among HIV-infected patients in Bissau, Guinea-Bissau

CCS researchers have written an article which looks at the clinical presentation of risk factors of hepatitis C virus among HIV-infected patients in Bissau, Guinea-Bissau.

According to the study, approximately 34 million people are infected with HIV worldwide, of whom one to two million have an HIV-2 infection, an epidemic mainly confined to West Africa. The West African country Guinea-Bissau is currently experiencing a rise in HIV-1 prevalence and at the same time holds the world's highest prevalence of HIV-2.

It notes that an estimated 170 million people are chronically infected with hepatitis C virus and more than three million are infected annually.Since reliable hepatitis C virus tests are not available for widespread screening in low-resource settings, physicians must often rely on clinical intuition. Unfortunately, data on symptoms and objective signs of chronic hepatitis C virus infection in Sub-Saharan Africa are scarce.

The study found that the prevalence of hepatitis C virus infection was comparable to that in other West African countries, and as reported by several other studies, the prevalence was higher among individuals aged ≥50 years. The transmission routes of hepatitis C virus in Guinea-Bissau remain unclear, and it is recommended that future studies investigate whether hepatitis C virus prevalence is declining. Among the HIV-infected patients in Guinea-Bissau, hepatitis C virus infection is a silent disease making screening tests necessary to diagnose co-infection.

Click here to read the full study. 

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