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Abstract

The aim of this study was to assess the influence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection on chronic hepatitis B. In a series of 132 (65 anti-HIV positive) homosexual non–drug addicted men with chronic hepatitis B, the liver function was assessed with biochemical tests; the degree of hepatitis B virus (HBV) replication was assessed with serum HBV DNA level and with immunoperoxidase staining of hepatitis B core (HBc) antigen on liver specimens; and the severity of liver lesions was assessed with an histology activity index. Anti-HIV–positive and anti-HIV–negative patients were not different for serum aspartate transaminase activity, bilirubin, prothrombin, and histology activity index. Anti-HIV–positive patients had lower serum alanine transaminase activity levels (P = .0001), lower serum albumin levels (P = .0009), and higher serum HBV DNA levels (P = .01). There was a higher prevalence of cirrhosis in anti-HIV–positive patients (P = .04). In homosexual men with chronic hepatitis B, HIV infection is associated with a higher level of HBV replication and a higher risk for cirrhosis without increased liver necrotico-inflammatory process.