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Highland Medical Research Journal

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Sociodemographic Characteristics Of Young Adults Screened For HIV In A Tertiary Health Centre In South-South Nigeria

CI Akani, O Erhabor

Abstract


Background: Human immune deficiency virus (HIV) infection is endemic globally, more so in developing countries like Nigeria and is an important cause of mortality and morbidity.

Objective: This study was undertaken to document the sero-prevalence of HIV infection among young adults (10 – 24 years).

Method: HIV screening was performed on all (n = 673) young adults referred to the retrovirology unit of the Haematology Department of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital between January 2003 to December 2003 comprising of 205 males and 432 females were screened for HIV using a double ELISA confirmatory of Immunocomb and Genscreen HIV 1 & 2 kits.

Result: A total of 637 young adults were screened for HIV. Two hundred and seventy-two (42.7%) were found positive to HIV. The highest infection burden occurred among the 20-24 years group 242 (50%) and lowest among the 10-14years group 4(12.1%). Infection rate was significantly higher among females 217 (50.2%), and in less educated adolescent with no formal education 56 (80%). History of alcoholism 262 (99.2%), drug use 146(60.6), number of sexual partners and age at first sexual debut were independent risk factors in adolescents for infection with HIV (P < 0.05).

Conclusion: This study confirmed a high prevalence of HIV among adolescents and describes the groups more at risk as seen in other parts of Nigeria. This calls for urgent health education of the young adult population with emphasis on a combination of behavioural and social changes to curb the spread of HIV.
Key Words: Socio demographic, HIV infection, young adults, Nigeria

Highland Medical Research Journal Vol. 3 (1) 2005: 24-30



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