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Prior to this study, very few studies in Cameroon have addressed co-infection of HIV and hepatitis in pregnancy. The aim of this study was to screen pregnant women living in the Buea Health District for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) and Hepatitis C virus (HCV) and determine how the prevalence of mono and co-infections relates to immunity. Eligible and consenting women were interviewed using a standardized questionnaire. After which 10 ml of whole blood was collected from 406 pregnant women. All specimens were tested for HIV, HBV and HCV using Determine HIV1/2 (Abbott Co. Ltd., Japan), SD Bioline (Standard Diagnostics, INC., USA) and ELISA (Murex Biotech Limited, Temple Hill, UK; ABBOTT Laboratories, Wiesbaden, Germany). The prevalence of HIV, HBV and HCV mono-infection in this study was 34(8.37%), 40(12.1%) and 28(6.89%) respectively. HIV/HBV, HIV/HCV, HBV/HCV and HIV/HBV/HCV multiple infection rates were 6(1.48%), 7(1.72%), 5(1.23%) and 2(0.49%) respectively and there was no statistical association between accessed risk factors and multiple viral infections in Pregnancy. Amongst women with a positive HIV result, those co-infected with HBV and HCV had the least mean CD4+ Tcell lymphocyte counts (531.50 ± 6.18) while those infected only with HIV had the highest mean CD4+ T-cell lymphocyte counts (620.22 ± 165.27). Co infection of HIV, HBV and HCV reduced the immune competence- CD4+ T cell counts, in pregnant women more than those who were HIV mono-infected.
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Keywords: Mono-infection, multiple-infections, mother-to-child-transmission, CD4 T-cell lymphocyte, pregnancy