The global and regional prevalence of hepatitis C and B co-infections among prisoners living with HIV: a systematic review and meta-analysis

H.A. Gharaei, M. Fararouei, A. Mirzazadeh, G. Sharifnia*, M. Rohani-Rasaf, D. Bastam, J. Rahimi, M. Kouhestani, S. Rezaian, M. Dianatinasab*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review


Background: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections are common among individuals with human immune deficiency virus (HIV) infection worldwide. In this study, we did a systematic review and meta-analysis of the published literature to estimate the global and regional prevalence of HCV, HBV and HIV coinfections among HIV-positive prisoners.Methods: We searched PubMed via MEDLINE, Embase, the Cochrane Library, SCOPUS, and Web of science (ISI) to identify studies that reported the prevalence of HBV and HCV among prisoners living with HIV. We used an eight-item checklist for critically appraisal studies of prevalence/incidence of a health problem to assess the quality of publications in the included 48 cross-sectional and 4 cohort studies. We used random-effect models and meta-regression for the meta-analysis of the results of the included studies.Results: The number of the included studies were 50 for HCV-HIV, and 23 for HBV-HIV co-infections. The pooled prevalence rates of the coinfections were 12% [95% confidence interval (CI) 9.0-16.0] for HBV-HIV and 62% (95% CI 53.0-71.0) for HCV-HIV. Among HIV-positive prisoners who reported drug injection, the prevalence of HBV increased to 15% (95% CI 5.0-23.0), and the HCV prevalence increased to 78% (95% CI 51.0-100). The prevalence of HBV-HIV coinfection among prisoners ranged from 3% in the East Mediterranean region to 27% in the American region. Also, the prevalence of HCV-HIV coinfections among prisoners ranged from 6% in Europe to 98% in the East Mediterranean regions.Conclusions: Our findings suggested that the high prevalence of HBV and HCV co-infection among HIV-positive prisoners, particularly among those with a history of drug injection, varies significantly across the globe. The results of Meta-regression analysis showed a sliding increase in the prevalence of the studied co-infections among prisoners over the past decades, rising a call for better screening and treatment programs targeting this high-risk population. To prevent the above coinfections among prisoners, aimed public health services (e.g. harm reduction via access to clean needles), human rights, equity, and ethics are to be seriously delivered or practiced in prisons.
Original languageEnglish
Article number93
Number of pages17
JournalInfectious Diseases of Poverty
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021


  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • HIV
  • AIDS
  • Prisons
  • Prevalence
  • Co-infection
  • HCV

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