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Parallel and overlapping Human Immunodeficiency Virus, Hepatitis B and C virus Infections among pregnant women in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Nigeria

By EB Bassey, AE Moses, SM Udo and AN Umo


Background: Risk factors that are associated with HIV infection are also associated with HBV and HCV infections in sub-Saharan Africa. The HIV-infected pregnant cohort represents a unique population and infection with the hepatitis virus is considered a public health problem worldwide. Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of Human Immunodeficiency Virus, Hepatitis B and C virus parallel and overlapping infections among pregnant women attending antenatal clinics in Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja. Method: Five hundred (500) blood samples were collected from three district hospitals in the FCT and tested at Wuse General Hospital, Abuja for the presence of antibodies to HIV and Hepatitis C virus, and HBsAg by ELISA technique in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. HIV seropositive sera were confirmed by Western blot. Result: Of the 500 pregnant women, those detected with HIV antibodies, HBsAg and anti-HCV antibodies were 42 (8.4%), 19 (3.8%) and 8 (1.6%) respectively. The overall seroprevalence of HIV and HBV or HCV co-infection was 9.5% while 7.1% and 2.4% HIV positive pregnant women were specifically co-infected with HBV and HCV respectively. Those within the age bracket of 15-20 years had the highest prevalence of HIV (13.4%), HBV (5.1%) and HCV (1.9%) infections. Among the occupation characteristics of the women, those of them involved in trading recorded the highest prevalence of HIV (60.6%), HBV (30.3) and HCV (6.1%). HIV was higher among the married women than the singles ((8.6% vs 6.5%); with HBV infection the reverse was the case (3.0% vs 9.8%) while HCV was same for both groups. History of blood transfusion did not reflect a higher rate of HIV and HBV (1.4% vs 9.6%; 2.8% vs 4.0% respectively) unlike HCV infection with 0.5% recorded only among those that had transfusion experience. Conclusion: When monitoring the risk of hepatotoxicity to antiretroviral drugs among these group of patients caution should be maintained. Moreover, evidence of parallel and overlapping HIV, HBsAg and HCV infections among this cohort should motivate inclusion of HBV and HCV among the diseases of surveillance in the national sentinel survey in order to ascertain the bigger picture of these infections in Nigeria

Topics: Online Journal of Health and Allied Sciences
Publisher: Dr. BS Kakkilaya
Year: 2009
OAI identifier:

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