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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574


OKONKWO, U C et al. Prevalence of hepatitis B, hepatitis C and human immunodeficiency viruses, and evaluation of risk factors for transmission: Report of a population screening in Nigeria. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2017, vol.107, n.4, pp.346-351. ISSN 2078-5135.

BACKGROUND. Hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and HIV are common blood-borne infections unevenly distributed across regions in Nigeria. Few population-based prevalence studies have been done in Nigeria. OBJECTIVE. To determine the prevalence of HBV, HCV and HIV and risk factors for infection with these viruses in a Nigerian population. METHODS. Hepatitis B surface antigen, anti-HCV and HIV were assayed in 1 498 healthy adult participants. A structured questionnaire was used to assess risk factors for viral acquisition. Bivariate analysis was used to compare differences in sociodemographic characteristics. Significant risk factors were identified by stepwise logistic regression. A p-value <0.05 was considered significant. RESULTS. The prevalences of HBV, HCV and HIV were 8.8%, 10.0% and 12.9%, respectively, with urban/rural disparity. HBV/HCV positivity was higher among males than females. The reverse was true for HIV. Age was significantly associated with being HBV-, HCV- or HIVpositive. Communal use of a toothbrush was significantly associated with HBV positivity in the final model (odds ratio 2.46, 95% confidence interval 1.45 - 4.18). CONCLUSIONS. The prevalence of HBV, HCV and HIV infection is high in Nigeria, with urban/rural disparity. HCV may be more of a public health concern than HBV in some communities. Population-based studies are required to provide vital data to inform optimal national control strategies.

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