Background: Hemodialysis [HD] patients are more prone to blood-borne viruses, such
as hepatitis B virus [HBV], hepatitis C virus [HCV], and, to a lesser extent, Human Immunodeficiency
Virus [HIV]. Chronic HBV and HCV infections are associated with liver cirrhosis, hepatocellular
carcinoma, and early graft failure after kidney transplantation. As there was no recent information,
this study aimed to evaluate the prevalence of HBV, HCV, and HIV infection in HD patients
in Fars province, southern Iran. This could help health policymakers to run more effective infection
control practices for reducing such blood-borne virus infections, if necessary.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was performed on 906 HD patients in Fars province, southern
Iran. A total of 906 blood samples were obtained from patients and diagnostic tests of HBV, HCV,
and HIV were done. Demographic data and some other information, such as duration of dialysis,
were extracted from the patients’ medical records. Data were analyzed in SPSS, version 18.
Results: Out of the patients enrolled in the study, 547 [60.4%] were male and 359 [39.6%] female.
The mean ± SD age of the patients was 58.0 ± 15.8 years. The prevalence of HBV, HCV, and HIV
infection was 0.88%, 0.55% and 0.44%, respectively. HIV-infected subjects were significantly
younger than the HIV-negative group [P <0.017].
Conclusion: It seems that Fars is among the provinces with low HBV and HCV prevalence in HD
patients in comparison to other provinces of Iran. On the other hand, HIV prevalence here is higher
than other provincial studies. Strict adherence to preventive infection control measures is recommended
in HD centers.