Human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis B virus and syphilis infections among long-distance truck drivers in, a Port city in Ghana
Background: Although the high prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus (HBV) and syphilis infections among longdistance truck drivers has been well documented globally, such data are sparse from Africa, and there has been no such data from Ghana. This study carried out between the months of January and June 2013 sought to determine the sero-prevalence and risk factors of HIV, HBV and syphilis infections among long distance truck drivers at the Tema sea port, Ghana.
Materials and Methods: Of a total of 800 eligible drivers, 106 (13.25%) drivers consented to take part in the study. Subjects voluntarily completed a risk factor questionnaire and provided blood specimen for testing for HIV, syphilis and the surface antigen of HBV (HBsAg).
Results: The mean age of the drivers was 40.56 ± 11.56 years. The sero-prevalence of HIV was 0.94%, 14.2% had HBsAg and reactive syphilis serology was 3.8%. On multivariate analysis, the main determinants of HBV infection were; multiple sexual partnership (OR, 6.36; 95% CI: 1.35– 29.79), patronage of commercial sex workers (OR, 6.85; 95% CI: 0.88 – 52.89), cross-border travelers (OR: 6.89-fold, 95% CI: 0.86 - 55.55) and prolonged duration of trips for more than two weeks (OR: 4.76; 95% CI: 0.59 – 38.02). The main determinant of syphilis infection on multivariate analysis was being a Muslim (OR, 2.19; 95% CI: 0.22 – 21.74).
Conclusion: The data indicate a lower sero-prevalence of HIV but a higher sero-prevalence of syphilis. However, the sero-prevalence of HBV infection is comparable to that of the general population.
Key words: HIV; Hepatitis B; Syphilis; Long distance truck drivers; Port.