Peterside Oliemen, Kunle-Olowu Onyaye Euphemia, Eneh Augusta Unoma and Ugwu Rosemary Ogochukwu
HIV infection is of major public health concern wor ldwide. Though the prevalence of HIV in Nigeria seems to be stabilizing, a significant number of th e population are still unaware of their status. A prospective study was carried out to determine the sero-prevalence of HIV in under-fives presenting to UPTH with diarrhoea. Also to determine the risk fac tors for HIV transmission in the seropositive patients. From September 2007 to February 2008, a t otal of 342 under-fives who presented to UPTH with diarrhoea were screened for HIV using the doub le ELISA test. A structured questionnaire was completed by the investigators to assess the risk f actors for infection. Mothers of the seropositive patients were also screened with the same test kits . The majority (89.0%) had acute diarrhoea, 22 (6.0%) had persistent diarrhoea, 16 (5.0%) had chro nic diarrhoea while 64 (18.7%) had dysentery. Thirt y three of the patients tested positive to HIV antibo dies, giving a seroprevalence of 9.6%. Significantl y more HIV positive patients 12 (75%) had chronic dia rrhoea. The presumed mode of HIV transmission in 30 (90.9%) of the patients was vertical. Since diar rhoea is a common feature of HIV infection, all children with diarrhoea should be screened for HIV. Measures aimed at prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV should be intensified.
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