This study investigates the current status of HIV/HCV co-infection through viral sero-prevalence and correlation with liver markers and CD4 count in three hospital settings in Cameroon. Blood samples of 75 newly diagnosed HIV patients, and 546 people attending the target hospitals were screened for HCV(antigen-antibodies) using enzyme-immunoassay. Biochemical liver markers (ALT-AST-g-GT-Bilirubin) and CD4-cell count were also analyzed. Statistical analysis was performed using student’s t-test, χ2-test and Pearson correlation. The statistical significance was set at the threshold p≤0.05. Out of 75 people with HIV, 10(13.33%) were diagnosed with HIV/HCV co-infection; 56(10.25%) individuals from the cohort of 546 participants were diagnosed with HCV infection and 5(8.93%) were confirmed HIV positive. Results showed that HCV infection rate is higher among HIV patients than among the general population. For the two populations, co-infection rate was higher in women: 7(9.3%) and 3(4%) respectively in HIV positive patients, 3(5.35%) and 2(3.57%) in HCV patients. Women comprised the majority of people with HIV (72%) while men were the majority in the HCV-infected population (78.57%). Mean age in co-infected individuals was higher, with 93.33% aged 50 years or above. A negative and significant correlation was associated with CD4 count, ALT activity and bilirubin concentration in people with HIV, whereas in HIV/HCV co-infected patients, positive and significant correlations were associated with ALT, AST and g-GT. HIV/HCV co-infection is a concern in hospital settings in Cameroon. HCV screening should be compulsory for patients and integrated in the existing guidelines/policies in Cameroon.
Key words: Seroprevalence, HIV/HCV, co-infection, risk factor, correlation, disease stage.
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