Coinfection with human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV) is common; worldwide, an estimated 10% of HIV-infected persons have chronic hepatitis B. Because the incidence of traditional acquired immunodeficiency syndrome-related opportunistic infections has decreased with successful anti-HIV therapy, liver disease has emerged as a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in HIV-infected individuals. HIV infection negatively impacts all phases of the natural history of hepatitis B leading to increased rates of persistent infection, higher HBV DNA levels, lower rates of hepatitis B e antigen loss, increased cirrhosis and liver-related mortality, and increased risk of hepatocellular carcinoma at lower CD4+ T cell counts. The management of hepatitis B in HIV infection is complicated by the dual activity of several nucleoside analogs, the more rapid development of lamivudine-resistant HBV in patients who are HIV-positive, and the paucity of studies in this population. Until further research emerges on the optimal treatment for this population, data from HBV monoinfected persons will need to be extrapolated to the HIV-HBV coinfected population. Further research is also needed to determine the mechanism(s) for the increased liver disease progression and optimal treatment goals.
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