Prevalence of hepatitis B surface antigen, hepatitis C and Human Immunodeficiency Virus antibodies in a population of students of tertiary institution in Nigeria
Objective: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus, and hepatitis C viruses (HCV) are major causes of mortality and morbidity worldwide. They are also among the commonest transfusiontransmissible infectious agents. Students of higher institutions are often used as voluntary unpaid donors by many hospitals in Nigeria. In this study, the prevalence of HIV and HCV and HBsAg is determined in a population of students attending Ladoke Akintola University of Technology in south west Nigeria, to provide background information on the burden of these infections in this population. Materials and Methods: Serum samples were obtained from students of the Pre-degree Science programme of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho and tested for antibodies to HIV, HCV and HBsAg using the ELISA procedure. Results: The prevalence rates of antibodies to HIV and HCV in the student population were 0% and 4.8%, respectively and that of HBsAg was 9.5%. Conclusion: The findings of this study which showed that the prevalence of antibodies to HIV and of HBsAg in this group of students is somewhat similar to those carried out in similar populations. This strongly suggests that the viral burden amongst this population of students is similar and that probably similar factors (demographic) are responsible for maintaining this level of viral load. Further studies would be needed to elucidate the reasons why this is the case. Also it would be necessary to reemphasize the methods of prevention of transmission of these viruses, and to ensure their implementation in order to reduce the viral levels and therefore avoid the long term sequalae.
Key words: Transfusion, Infection, Blood Donation