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Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine

On-line version ISSN 2078-6751
Print version ISSN 1608-9693

Abstract

MORRIS, Neil K.; DU TOIT-PRINSLOO, Lorraine; WEBBER, Lynne  and  SAAYMAN, Gert. The prevalence of HIV in the sudden, unexplained and unexpected death population at the Pretoria Medico-Legal Laboratory. South. Afr. j. HIV med. (Online) [online]. 2016, vol.17, n.1, pp.1-5. ISSN 2078-6751.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajhivmed.v17i1.424.

PURPOSE: To determine the prevalence of HIV in the sudden, unexplained and unexpected (SUU) death population admitted to the Pretoria Medico-Legal Laboratory. METHODS: This study was conducted at the Pretoria Medico-Legal Laboratory. Blood samples were obtained from decedents who died suddenly and/or unexpectedly, during autopsy, by a forensic pathologist. Sample collection continued until 100 valid samples were analysed for HIV antibodies. The data collected included demographic details and case-related information. RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: SUU deaths accounted for 14% of all cases admitted to the Pretoria Medico-Legal Laboratory. The HIV prevalence in the SUU deaths was 43%, which is 17% higher than the general mortuary population in Pretoria (p = 0.0045). The majority of these deaths were due to respiratory disease processes, with 12 cases having HIV/TB co-infection.

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