Hepatitis Delta virus (HDV) causes severe liver disease. Due to similarities in transmission routes, persons living with HIV (PLWH) are at risk of HDV infection. This analysis investigates the prevalence and the long-term clinical outcome of people with HDV in a large cohort of PLWH. We retrieved HBsAg ± anti-HDV positive PLWH enrolled from 1997 to 2015 in the multicentre, prospective ICONA study. The primary endpoint was a composite clinical outcome (CCO = having experienced ≥1 of the following: Fib4 score >3.25; diagnosis of cirrhosis; decompensation; hepatocellular carcinoma or liver-related death). Kaplan–Meier curves and unweighted and weighted Cox regression models were used for data analysis. Less than half of HBsAg positive patients had been tested for anti-HDV in clinical practice. After testing stored sera, among 617 HBV/HIV cases, 115 (19%) were anti-HDV positive; 405 (65%) HBV monoinfected; 99 (16%) undeterminate. The prevalence declined over the observation period. HDV patients were more often males, intravenous drug users, HCV coinfected. After a median of 26 months, 55/115 (48%) developed CCO among HDV+; 98/403 (24%) among HBV monoinfected; 18/99 (18%) in HDV unknown (p < 0.001). After controlling for geographical region, alcohol consumption, CD4 count, anti-HCV status and IFN-based therapies, the association with HDV retained statistical significance [HR = 1.67 (1.15, 2.95; p = 0.025)]. HDV infection among PLWH is underdiagnosed, although HDV entails an high risk of liver disease progression. Because effective drugs to treat HDV are now available, it is even more crucial to identify PLWH at an early stage of liver disease.
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