Current HIV/AIDS Reports

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 172–181 | Cite as

Significance and Management of Isolated Hepatitis B Core Antibody (Anti-HBc) in HIV and HCV: Strategies in the DAA Era

  • Jennifer J. Chang
  • Neaka Mohtashemi
  • Debika Bhattacharya
Co-infections and Comorbidity (S Naggie, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Co-infections and Comorbidity


Purpose of Review

The purpose of this review is to summarize the prevalence and clinical implications of the isolated anti-HBc serologic profile in HIV-infected individuals. We highlight the rare but important issue of HBV reactivation in the setting of HCV therapy and describe an approach to management.

Recent Findings

The isolated anti-HBc pattern, a profile that most often indicates past exposure to HBV with waning anti-HBs immunity, is found commonly in HIV-infected individuals, particularly those with HCV. Some large cohort studies demonstrate an association with advanced liver disease, while others do not. Conversely, meta-analyses have found an association between occult HBV infection (a component of the isolated anti-HBc pattern) and advanced liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma in HIV-uninfected individuals. In HIV-uninfected individuals with anti-HBc positivity, HBV reactivation has been reported in patients receiving HCV therapy. This phenomenon is likely the result of disinhibition of HBV with HCV eradication.


In HIV-infected patients, the long-term liver outcomes associated with the isolated anti-HBc pattern remain to be fully elucidated, supporting the need for large cohort studies with longitudinal follow-up. HBV reactivation during HCV DAA therapy has been well-described in HIV-uninfected cohorts and can inform algorithms for the screening and management of the isolated anti-HBc pattern in this population.


DAA HCV treatment Isolated anti-HBc Occult HBV HIV/HCV HIV infection 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Debika Bhattacharya collaborated on an NIH sponsored protocol involving Merck, BMS, Abbvie, and Sanofi.

Jennifer J. Chang and Neaka Mohtashemi declare that they have no competing interests.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer J. Chang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Neaka Mohtashemi
    • 1
  • Debika Bhattacharya
    • 1
  1. 1.UCLA CARE Center, Division of Infectious Diseases, David Geffen School of MedicineUniversity of California, Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Department of Infectious DiseasesKaiser Permanente at Los Angeles Medical CenterLos AngelesUSA

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