Seroprevalence of Hepatitis B Virus and Human Immunodeficiency Virus infection among students in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) are endemic in sub-Saharan Africa. Evidence on HBV co-infection rates with HIV infection among individuals remains conflicting. The study was conducted to determine the seroprevalence of HBV and HIV infections and the possible potential risk factors among students of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Nigeria. Blood samples were collected from 600 consenting consecutive students aged between 16 and 40 years old at the University Health Services, ABU, Zaria. The sera were screened for HBsAg, anti-HBs, HBeAg, anti-HBe and anti-HBc using diagnostic kits and for Human Immunodeficiency Virus using DetermineTMHIV-1/2 kits. Reactive sera for HBsAg were further confirmed using ELISA kits. For HBsAg, 9.2% (55/600) tested positive among which, none had detectable anti-HBs antibodies, indicating recent infection. About 7.3%, 36.4% and 94.5% were positive for HBeAg, anti-HBe and anti-HBc respectively. Seroprevalence of HIV infection was 2.8% (17/600). One (0.2%) of the student was infected with both HBV and HIV. There was a significant association between age group (p=0.016), gender (p=0.049), family history of HBV infection (p=0.000), and seroprevalence of HBsAg. While for HIV, only menial jobs (p = 0.001) was significantly associated with the infection. The results showed close contact among family members to be a predisposing factor to these viral infections. A total of 314 students were ignorant of HBV and four of them were infectious. The seroprevalence of HBsAg obtained in this study indicates high endemicity according to WHO classification. However, seroprevalence of HIV and its co-infection rate with HBV were very low. This was encouraging and it indicates that the campaign on HIV is yielding the desired result. Therefore similar campaign should be extended to Hepatitis B.
Keywords: Seroprevalence; HIV; HBsAg; Serological markers; Students; Nigeria