Prevalence of Hepatitis B Virus Infection in Kenya, 2007

Kathleen N. Ly Division of Viral Hepatitis, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.

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Andrea A. Kim Division of Global HIV/AIDS, Center for Global Health, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.

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Mamo Umuro National Public Health Laboratory Services, Ministry of Health, Nairobi, Kenya.

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Jan Drobenuic Division of Viral Hepatitis, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.

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John M. Williamson Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, Center for Global Health, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.

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Joel M. Montgomery Division of Global Health Protection, Center for Global Health, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Nairobi, Kenya.

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Barry S. Fields Division of Global Health Protection, Center for Global Health, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Nairobi, Kenya.

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Eyasu H. Teshale Division of Viral Hepatitis, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.

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Current estimates put the prevalence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in Kenya at 5–8%. We determined the HBV infection prevalence in the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–negative Kenyan adult and adolescent population based on samples collected from a national survey. We analyzed data from HIV-negative participants in the 2007 Kenya AIDS Indicator Survey to estimate the HBV infection prevalence. We defined past or present HBV infection as presence of total hepatitis B core antibody (HBcAb), and chronic HBV infection (CHBI) as presence of both total HBcAb and hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg). We calculated crude and adjusted odds of HBV infection by demographic characteristics and risk factors using logistic regression analyses. Of 1,091 participants aged 15–64 years, approximately 31.5% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 28.0–35.3%) had exposure to HBV, corresponding to approximately 6.1 million (CI = 5.4–6.8 million) with past or present HBV infection. The estimated prevalence of CHBI was 2.1% (95% CI = 1.4–3.1%), corresponding to approximately 398,000 (CI = 261,000–602,000) with CHBI. CHBI is a major public health problem in Kenya, affecting approximately 400,000 persons. Knowing the HBV infection prevalence at baseline is important for planning and public health policy decision making and for monitoring the impact of viral hepatitis prevention programs.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Kathleen N. Ly, Division of Viral Hepatitis, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE, Mailstop G-37, Atlanta, GA 30333. E-mail: kathleenly@cdc.gov

Financial support: The U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief funded this survey for specimen testing.

Authors' addresses: Kathleen N. Ly, Andrea A. Kim, Jan Drobenuic, John M. Williamson, Joel M. Montgomery, Barry S. Fields, and Eyasu H. Teshale, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, E-mails: kathleen.ly@cdc.gov, aakim@cdc.gov, jdrobeniuc@cdc.gov, jwilliamson@cdc.gov, jmontgomery@cdc.gov, and bfields@cdc.gov. Mamo Umuro, National Public Health Laboratory Services, Ministry of Health, Nairobi, Kenya, E-mail: muromamo@yahoo.com.

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