Full Length Research Paper
This study aims to determine the prevalence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and HIV infections among pregnant women visiting Healthcare Institutions within Ebonyi State, Nigeria. Blood samples were collected from 100 pregnant women who visited Rural Improvement Missionary Hospital (RIMH) and General Hospital (GHE) within Ebonyi State. The presence of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) in serum was determined using Antec strips (Antec Diagnostics UK) while commercially available Enzyme linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) based rapid diagnostic test kit (Biotech diagnostic, USA) was used to assay for HIV. Sixteen 16 (11.8%) of the pregnant women examined were sero-positive for HBV, 15(10%) were positive for HIV and 4% were positive for co-infection of HBV and HIV. Occupation was significantly associated with the prevalence of the hepatitis B co-infection in the population examined as 8.8% of housewives and 5.5% of business women had co-infection at p<0.05. The prevalence rate of 11.8% for HBV; 10% for HIV; and 4% for HBV and HIV co-infection reported in this study confirms the endemicity of HBV and HIV within the study area. This could cause serious public health problem if not properly tackled. Thus, it is very pertinent to carry out HBV and HIV screening as a routine in ante-natal care.
Key words: Hepatitis B virus (HBV), HIV, pregnant women, co-infection.
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