Anti-HCV antibody among newly diagnosed HIV patients in Ughelli, a suburban area of Delta State Nigeria
Background: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) share common routes of infection and as such, co-infection is expected. Co-infection of the two viruses is of great medical importance as it determines the effect of drugs used for treatment at various stages.
Objective: This interplay between HIV and HCV sets the tone for the objective of this study which is to ascertain the seroprevalence of HCV among newly diagnosed HIV patients in Ughelli, a suburban area of Delta State, Nigeria.
Methods: A total of 200 newly diagnosed HIV-positive patients were recruited for this study. Each of the sera was tested for anti-HCV antibody using SWE-life HCV ultra rapid test strip. Appropriate questionnaires were used to ascertain other important information which include social behaviour such as whether the patients were MSM (males), IDU, tattoo and/or have received blood transfusion in the past.
Results: The prevalence of HCV among the study population was determined to be 15.0%. A higher seroprevalence was observed among females (16.5%) than in males (13.0%). A higher seroprevalence was also observed among age groups >26 years (16.0%) than in age-groups 14-25 years (13.0%) and 2-13 years (0.0%). Of the 7 patients with tattoos, 1(14.3%) tested positive for HCV compared to 29(15.0%) with no tattoos. We found no significant correlation with transfusion, intravenous drug use (IDU), men that have sex with men (MSM), tattooing and the seroprevalence of HCV. However, significant correlation existed with age, sex and HCV prevalence.
Conclusion: This study reports a 15.0% seroprevalence of HCV among newly diagnosed HIV patients and that is alarmingly well above several other studies done in the past in Nigeria and other countries of sub-Saharan Africa. Planned prevention, screening, and treatment are needed to reduce further transmission and morbidity. Future studies involving HCV-RNA assays are needed.
Keywords: HIV, HCV, Hepatitis, co-infection, intravenous drug use.
While African Health Sciences has been freely accessible online there have been questions on whether it is Open Access or not. We wish to clearly state that indeed African Health Sciences is Open Access. There are key issues regarding Open Access needing clarification for avoidance of doubt:
- 1. Henceforth, papers in African Health Sciences will be published under the CC BY (Creative Commons Attribution License) 4.0 International. See details on https://creativecomons.org/)
- 2. The copyright owners or the authors grant the 3rd party (perpetually and in advance) the right to disseminate, reproduce, or use the research papers in part or in full, format/medium as long as:
- No substantive errors are introduced in the process
- Attribution of authorship and correct citation details are given
- The referencing details are not changed.
Should the papers be reproduced in part, this must be clearly stated.
- 3. The papers will be freely and universally accessible online in an easily readable format such as XML in at least one widely recognized open access repository such as PUBMED CENTRAL.
B. ABRIDGED LICENCE AGREEMENT BETWEEN AUTHORS AND African Health Sciences
I submitted my manuscript to African Health Sciences and would like to affirm that:
1.0 I am authorized by my co-authors to enter into these arrangements.
2.0 I guarantee, on behalf of self and co-authors:
- That the paper is original, and has not been published in any other peer-reviewed journal; nor is it under consideration by other journal (s). It does not infringe existing copyright or any other person’s rights
- That we are/I am the sole author(s) of the paper and with authority to enter into this agreement. My granting rights to African Health Sciences is not in breach of any other obligation
- That the paper contains nothing unlawful, or libelous. Nor anything that would constitute a breach of contract, confidence or commitment given to secrecy, if published
- That I/we have taken care to ensure the integrity of the article.