Zero Prevalence of HIV and HCV Coinfection in the Highly HIV-infected Population of Rivers State, Nigeria
Asian Journal of Research in Medical and Pharmaceutical Sciences,
Background: Hepatitis C affects 5–15% of the 38 million people living with HIV globally. Africa which has the second highest prevalence of HIV/HCV co-infection following Asia. This alarming statistics has made it crucial that studies be done to also ascertain the HIV/HCV co-infection prevalence in the country and host factors which may influence the co-infection.
Objective: Therefore, this study was conducted to investigate the seroprevalence of HCV infection amongst the HIV population of Rivers state, Nigeria.
Study Design: Cross-sectional study.
Place and Duration of Study: University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH), in Rivers State, Nigeria, from February 2017 to September 2019.
Methods: In this study, 226 HIV-infected individuals were recruited comprising 105 males and 121 females. These subjects were screened for the presence of HIV and HCV using ELISA and was performed according to the kit manufacturer’s stipulations. The demographic characteristics of the participants were obtained using a questionnaire designed for the study.
Results: The presence of antibodies to HIV-1 reconfirmed the HIV status in all the study subject. A seroprevalence rate of 0.0% was observed for HIV/HCV infection. The ratio of females to males was found to be 1.2:1. The ages of the study population ranged from 16 to 70 years with a median age of 42.5 years. A large number (30.5%, n = 69) of the participants were within the age group 40 – 49 years, followed by those within 30 – 39 years (26.1%, n= 59), 50 – 59 years (17.3%, n = 39) and >59 years (13.7%, n = 31). Participants that were within younger age groups had less population; 20 – 29 years (9.7%, n = 22), with those that are <20 years having the least population (2.7%, n = 6). Many (49.1%, n = 111) of the study participants were found to be married. About 46.5% (n = 105) of them were single, while a few (4%, n = 10) were widowed.
Conclusion: No coinfection of HIV/HCV was found, in spite of Nigeria being endemic for HCV. However, despite this zero rate of HIV/HCV coinfection, routine screening for HCV markers should be carried out to reduce morbidity and mortality in HIV-infected individuals.
- HBV infection
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