The prevalence of HIV in the sudden, unexplained and unexpected death population at the Pretoria Medico-Legal Laboratory

  • Neil K Morris
  • Lorraine du Toit-Prinsloo
  • Lynne Webber
  • Gert Saayman

Abstract

Purpose: To determine the prevalence of HIV in the sudden, unexplained and  unexpected (SUU) death population admitted to the Pretoria Medico-Legal Laboratory.
Methods: This study was conducted at the Pretoria Medico-Legal Laboratory. Blood samples were obtained from decedents who  died suddenly and/or unexpectedly, during autopsy, by a forensic pathologist. Sample collection continued until 100 valid samples were analysed for HIV antibodies. The data collected included demographic details and case-related information.
Results and Conclusion: SUU deaths accounted for 14% of all cases admitted to the Pretoria Medico-Legal Laboratory. The HIV prevalence in the SUU deaths was 43%, which is 17% higher than the general mortuary population in Pretoria ( p = 0.0045). The majority of these deaths were due to respiratory disease processes, with 12 cases having HIV/TB co-infection.
Published
2016-06-24
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 2078-6751
print ISSN: 1608-9693