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Background: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) co-infection
with HIV is becoming a major challenge due to shared routes of transmission.
The burden is apparent in regions with widespread use of antiretroviral
treatment, which led to the enhanced emergence of liver-related diseases and
mortality. Though there are conflicting results about the effect of chronic HBV
infection on response to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) (CD4+ cell count and HIV viral load, HIV RNA copies/ml), HAART is known to cause
immune mediated HBV specific liver damage after it reconstitutes cell-mediated immunity. The
relationship of different HAART regimes with immune recovery is an area of research
interest. Objective: It is in order to determine the
changes in immune recovery during HBV infection in the setting of HAART among
HIV positive individuals attending care and treatment services. Methods: Two cohorts of
co-infected patients were analyzed from data of one to seven months
retrospectively. The first group (n = 380) was antiretroviral
drug naive and the second cohort (n = 380) was on HAART for the entire period.
The study was conducted in one referral hospital and six health centers. Data
were gathered from 760 patients using their intake form, their follow-up form
and their medical records supplemented by data from a structured questionnaire.
HBV infection was determined by using HBsAg rapid and confirmatory tests and CD4 cells were enumerated