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Abstract

This study examined the effect of duration of hepatitis B virus infection on the association between human immunodeficiency virus type-1 infection and hepatitis B viral replication. Twenty-five chronic HBsAg carriers were studied. Presence of hepatitis B virus DNA and expression of HBeAg were more frequent among 20 chronic HBsAg carriers positive for human immunodeficiency virus type-1 antibody compared with five chronic HBsAg carriers negative for human immunodeficiency virus type-1 antibody, but the associations were not statistically significant. Hepatitis B virus DNA and HBeAg were inversely related to duration of hepatitis B virus infection (p < 0.001). Stratifying for duration of hepatitis B virus infection, the presence of viral replication was similar among patients negative and positive for antibody to human immunodeficiency virus type-1. Hepatitis B virus DNA levels did not increase with the decline of cellular immunity over time. In conclusion, hepatitis B virus replication among chronic carriers may be a function of duration of hepatitis B virus infection rather than of an effect of human immunodeficiency virus type-1. (Hepatology 1992;15:590–592).