Content » Vol 100, October

Investigative Report

Risk Factors for the Co-infection with HIV, Hepatitis B and C Virus in Syphilis Patients

Hui-Zi Gong, Kui-Ru Hu, Wei Lyu, He-Yi Zheng , Wei Guo Zhu, Xia Wan, Jun Li
DOI: 10.2340/00015555-3657

Abstract

Syphilis, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) share transmission routes. Syphilis infection can increase the risk of acquiring and transmitting HIV in key populations. The aims of this study were to investigate the risk factors and co-infection patterns for HIV, HBV and HCV in patients with syphilis. A retrospective study was conducted of 2,412 patients with syphilis (1,922 (79.68%) with latent syphilis, 336 (13.93%) with secondary syphilis, 78 (3.23%) with primary syphil­is, 72 (2.99%) with tertiary syphilis, and 4 (0.17%) with congenital syphilis). Positive results were odserved in 8.21% (134/1,620) of patients tested for HIV, 5.75% (82/1,427) for HBV, and 1.02% (14/1,374) for HCV, respectively. Multivariate logistic regression analysis found that male sex (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 26.03; 95% confidence interval (CI) 10.37–65.36), age < 55 years, especially age group 25–34-years (AOR 8.06; 95% CI 4.16–15.61), diagnosed at the Department of Infectious Disease (AOR 19.16; 95% CI 9.74–37.69), patients from Southern China, which is a geographical area south of the Qinling-Huaihe line (AOR 1.86; 95% CI 1.06–3.26) and having a rapid plasma reagin titre ≥1:32 (AOR 1.88; 95% CI 1.12–3.15) were independently associated with HIV infection. Risk factors for HBV co-infection in patients with syphilis, including male sex (AOR 1.78; 95% CI 1.12–2.83) and living in Southern China (AOR 4.66; 95% CI, 2.36–9.17) were also identified.

Significance

Syphilis, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus share transmission routes. Syphilis infection can increase the risk of acquiring and transmitting HIV in key populations. It is not known whether syphilis infection also increases the risk of hepatitis B and C virus infection. This study aimed to further disentangle the association between syphilis and HIV/hepatitis B virus/hepatitis C virus, and to assess the risk factors associated with co-infection in attendees of sexually transmitted disease clinics. It was found that HIV co-infection is high in patients with syphilis. Male sex, younger, and having a higher rapid plasma reagin titre were risk factors for HIV co-infection in patients with syphilis. The hepatitis B and C virus infection rate among patients with syphilis and the general population is almost the same.

Supplementary content

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