Trends in HIV seropositivity among young adults in the Niger Delta of Nigeria: a five-year survey

  • C Akani Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, PMB 6173, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
  • O Erhabor Department of Haematology, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, PMB 6173, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
  • H Opurum Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV Project, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, PMB 6173, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
  • S Babatunde Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, PMB 6173, Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Abstract

HIV infection is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in Nigeria. This paper describes the seroprevalence rates of HIV infection in young people (10–24 years) tested at a hospital centre in Port Harcourt, a cosmopolitan city in the Niger Delta, the heart of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria. Subjects for this descriptive study included a total of 2033 consecutively recruited young symptomatic persons referred from the outpatient clinic and wards for retroviral screening at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital for the period 1999-2003. HIV antibody test was carried out using the commercially available double enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) of Immunocomb and Genscreen HIV I and II kits. The overall seroprevalence rate was 34.7%. The rate of HIV prevalence increased gradually with age (X2 = 73.82; p = 0.001). The seroprevalence of HIV was significantly higher in females compared to males comprising 41.2% and 22.3% respectively (X2 = 72.90; p = 0.01). Data indicated that HIV prevalence declined from 34.5% in 1999, to 29.7% in 2000, 22.7% in 2001, increased subsequently to 35.5% in 2002 and peaked at 42.2% in 2003. HIV–1 was the predominant viral serotype (92.2%). This study suggests a rising prevalence of HIV among young adults in Nigeria. This calls for an urgent need for government, non-governmental organizations and faith-based organizations (FBOs) to embark on interventional measures with emphasis on behavioural and social changes coupled with the provision of youth friendly health services.

Keywords: HIV, seropositivity, young adults, Niger Delta, Nigeria

Nigerian Medical Practitioner Vol. 48(4) 2005: 95-97
Published
2006-01-05
Section
Articles

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eISSN: 0189-0964