Hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccine response is good in individuals with HIV and therefore should be given to aid in prevention of HBV, to reduce costs of treatment, and to help prevent HBV/HIV coinfection, according to a retrospective, descriptive study published in the Annals of Hepatology.1
HBV and HIV share the same route of transmission, mainly sexual and parenteral, which assists in the occurrence of HBV/HIV coinfection.2 Coinfection accelerates the course of liver disease,3,4 and the risk for progression to AIDS or death is almost double for those with HBV/HIV coinfection compared with individuals only infected with HIV.2,5-7 Ideally, persons infected with HIV without evidence of HBV immunity should be vaccinated against HBV soon after HIV diagnosis.8-11-12 However, the efficacy of vaccines against HBV decreases gradually after 40 years of age and with other factors such as obesity, stress, smoking, and alcohol abuse may also lower its efficacy. HBV vaccines are also less effective in individuals with compromised immunity. The existence of unvaccinated groups represents a significant risk to those with HIV; therefore, researchers evaluated the HBV vaccine response in adults with HIV infection in Brazil. Of the 201 patients evaluated who had a complete vaccination scheme, 55.72% were males and the mean age was 43.86 ± 12.68 years. Vaccine response occurred in 80.10% of patients and did not correlate with age, CD4+ cell count, or viral load.
“It is important that the HBV vaccine be offered to all HIV-seropositive patients, reinforcing protection, prevention and reduction of costs and damages caused with regard to HBV/HIV coinfection,” concluded the authors.
By Virginia Schad
1. Rech-Medeiros AF, dose S. Marcon P, do V. Tovo C, de Mattos AA. Evaluation of response to hepatitis B virus vaccine in adults with human immunodeficiency virus [published online May 25, 2019]. Ann Hepatol. doi:10.1016/j.aohep.2019.03.012
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