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.
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