Hiv infection prevalence among women visiting the Hiv counselling centre in Nnewi, Nigeria.

  • JI Ikechebelu
  • SO Kalu
  • J Nwajide
Keywords: HCT, HIV, Women, Marital status, Age.

Abstract

Objective: This study is aimed at determining the HIV prevalence rate among women attending the HIV counselling & testing centre at Nnewi
and the effect of marital status on this.
Method: This is a retrospective review of the records of women visiting the HIV counselling and testing (HCT) centre of the Nnamdi Azikiwe
University Teaching Hospital from July 2004 to June 2005 to determine their HIV status. They include women attending antenatal clinic,
premarital test, pre employment test and those referred from other centres for confirmation of their status. The data was analysed and presented in tables using comparative percentages.
Results: HCT uptake during this period was 87.6% (1419/1620) while HIV sero-prevalence was 28.3% (402/1419). The breakdown of the
female population showed a 15.3% (70/458) sero-positivity among pregnant women, 25.8% (69/268) sero-positivity among single non-pregnant girls and 38.0% (269/693) sero-positivity among married non-pregnant women. The 25 – 29 years age range had the highest sero-prevalence for HIV infection though there was no significant difference in prevalence of HIV infection for women above 20 years of age. However, the adolescents (15-19 years) had a significantly lower prevalence (p<0.001).
Conclusion: The high prevalence of HIV sero-positivity in this study may be attributed to the hospital based survey since this centre is a
national referral centre for HIV treatment. Most of the visitors to the HCT centre have risky behaviour except for the pregnant women who came
for routine antenatal care in the hospital. The lower prevalence rate recorded in pregnant women could also be as a result of their more stable
heterosexual relationship and less number of sexual partners. However their prevalence rate is three times the national sero-prevalence rate. We
recommend a community based HCT study to determine the true prevalence of HIV infection among women in our environment.
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