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Aims: Provision of constant and safe blood has been a public health challenge in Sub-Saharan Africa with a high prevalence of transfusion-transmissible infections (TTIs). This study aimed at determining the seroprevalence of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) among prospective blood donors at two Hospitals (government and private-owned) in Rivers State, and also to relate some demographic studies to the screening results.
Study Design: Cross-sectional study.
Place and Duration of Study: Two Hospitals (a government-owned and private-owned) in Rivers State, Nigeria, between January 2018 and April 2019.
Methodology: Two hundred and eighty-two (185 males and 97 females) blood donors were recruited for this study. Sera samples were screened for antibodies to HIV-1 and -2 using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) based kits following the manufacturer’s description.
Results: Of the 282 screened prospective donors (males and females) in this study, the overall prevalence of HIV from both hospitals was 6.0% with a seronegativity of 94.0%. There was a significant relationship (p <0.05) between the overall seroprevalence of HIV concerning gender (p-0.006) all other demographics had no significant association with HIV. Age group 21-30 had the highest prevalence of HIV (53.80%). Donors with tertiary education had the highest prevalence rate (52.90%) of HIV. About marital status, the unmarried donors had higher HIV prevalence (64.70%) when compared with the married donors (35.30%). However, family donors had the highest prevalence of HIV (52.90%). Finally, concerning occupation, students had a higher HIV prevalence (47.10%).
Conclusion: The seroprevalence of HIV in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria was high. This shows that HIV remains a threat to safe blood transfusion and public health in Nigeria. Strict adherence to selection criteria and algorithm of donor screening is hereby advocated.
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