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Hepatitis C virus (HCV) and HIV have emerged as major viral infections within the past two decades, and their coinfection poses a big challenge with a significant impact in terms of morbidity and mortality associated with liver disease and renal failure. The current study aimed at assessing the prevalence of HCV infection and associated comorbidities among HIV patients at one primary health facility in Rwanda. In total, 417 HIV-positive patients were recruited and included in the study from January 1, 2019 up to June 30, 2019. All participants were screened for HCV infection by using the SD Bioline HCV antibody rapid test. In addition, underlying medical conditions were also recorded as comorbidities. Among 417 participants, 52 exhibited HCV-positive results (12.5%). The group of 41- to 50- and 51- to 60-year-olds had higher prevalence of HIV/HCV coinfection than other age-groups with 3.6% and 4.6%, respectively. Furthermore, five underlying medical conditions were found as comorbidities among the study participants. Those with HIV/HCV coinfection showed higher comorbidities than those with mono-infection including liver toxicity, P value 0.005; tuberculosis, P value 0.005; renal failure, P value 0.003; hypertension, P value 0.001; and diabetes mellitus, P value 0.001. The relative risk ratio of having comorbidities in those groups was 4.09. To conclude, the prevalence of HCV/HIV coinfection is high, and there was a statistical significant association of having comorbidities in HIV/HCV-coinfected group compared with the group of HIV mono-infection, which suggests more intervention in this vulnerable group of patients.
Authors’ addresses: Jean Bosco Munyemana, Department of Clinical Biology, School of Medicine and Pharmacy, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Esperance Mukanoheli, Department of Biomedical Laboratory Sciences, Faculty of Applied Fundamental Sciences, INES-Ruhengeri, Musanze, Rwanda, E-mail: email@example.com. Theoneste Nsabimana, Department of Internal Medicine, Kibagabaga District Hospital, Kigali, Rwanda, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Jean Damascene Niringiyumukiza, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Clinic, Rwanda Military Hospital, Kigali, Rwanda, E-mail: email@example.com.