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Seroprevalence and Risk Factors for Human Immunodeficiency Virus, Hepatitis B and C Vi-ruses Infections among Blood Donors at the Bolgatanga Regional Hospital in Bolgatanga, Ghana
This study sought to determine the seroprevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) among blood donors at Bolga-tanga Regional Hospital, Ghana by blood group type, sex and age and also determining the asso-ciation, if any, in the occurrence of the pathogens. The study population consisted of 4146 con-secutive donors, 3920(94.5%) males and 226(5.5%) females, who donated blood between Janu-ary 2004 through December 2007. Their age ranged from 17 to 58 years, and most (49.1%) were between 17-27 years. The seroprevalence of HIV, HBsAg and HCV among the subjects was found to be 4.05%, 12.64% and 3.57%, respectively. A higher prevalence of HBsAg was found among males 12.81% (502/3920) than in females 9.73% (22/226). There were no significant sex differences in the occurrence of HIV and HCV (p > 0.05 in each case). The age-specific preva-lence of HBsAg decreased from 13.67% in donors aged 17-27 years through 8.68% in the 38-47 age group to 0.00% in the 58-67 year age group. Rh-negative blood group donors and Rh-positive group donors had similar prevalence rates of these viral infections. Whereas the highest seroprevalence of HBsAg was seen in blood group B (16.28%) and the lowest in blood group AB (0.00%), for HCV and HIV, the highest seroprevalence (5.88%) was seen in blood group A and the lowest in blood group AB (0.00%) among the Rh-negative group. The high seroprevalence of blood-borne infections in blood donated at Bolgatanga Regional Hospital calls for rigorous screening of blood donors, especially the younger population, for HBV, HCV and HIV and the establishment of strict guidelines for blood transfusions. Hepatitis positivity in the study popula-tion was statistically not associated with ABO blood groups.