|Year : 2010 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 14-17
Human immunodeficiency virus seroprevalence among pregnant women in Minna, Nigeria
IS Ndams1, IA Joshua2, SA Luka1, HO Sadiq1, SB Ayodele1
1 Department of Biological Sciences, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria
2 University Health Services, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria
|Date of Web Publication||17-Dec-2010|
I S Ndams
Department of Biological Sciences, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
| Abstract|| |
Background: Mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the dominant mode of acquisition of HIV infection for children, currently resulting in more than 200 new pediatric HIV infections each year worldwide. In most cases, MTCT of HIV is believed to occur close to or during childbirth.
Materials and Methods : A hospital-based descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out among pregnant women attending the antenatal clinic at General Hospital Minna, Nigeria, to elicit their sociodemographic characteristics and determine their HIV status. Structured questionnaires and interviews were the tools used for the collection of data.
Results: The mean age and age range of the respondents were 20 years and 20-42 years, respectively. Of the 231 samples collected, 18 (7.8%) tested positive for HIV, and 11 (18.2%) of these were students.
Conclusion: The study showed a significant HIV prevalence, which could serve as a baseline data for subsequent monitoring of the disease among pregnant women in Minna. And, there is need for sensitization of people on voluntary counselling and testing and other core interventions of prevention of maternal to child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV, such as anti-retroviral prophylaxis, safer delivery and infant-feeding practices in view of its advantages.
Keywords: Antenatal clinic, HIV seroprevalence, Minna, Nigeria, pregnant women
|How to cite this article:|
Ndams I S, Joshua I A, Luka S A, Sadiq H O, Ayodele S B. Human immunodeficiency virus seroprevalence among pregnant women in Minna, Nigeria. Ann Nigerian Med 2010;4:14-7
|How to cite this URL:|
Ndams I S, Joshua I A, Luka S A, Sadiq H O, Ayodele S B. Human immunodeficiency virus seroprevalence among pregnant women in Minna, Nigeria. Ann Nigerian Med [serial online] 2010 [cited 2020 Feb 21];4:14-7. Available from: http://www.anmjournal.com/text.asp?2010/4/1/14/73871
| Introduction|| |
There are an estimated 42 million persons in the world living with human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), and 70% of these live in sub-Saharan Africa.  Nigeria has an HIV prevalence of 4.4%,  and the mode of transmission of the disease is largely through unprotected sex (80%), mother-to-child transmission (MTCT), contaminated blood and blood products and use of contaminated objects or instruments. HIV infection in pregnant women is a worldwide problem. The United Nations AIDS (UNAIDS) and World Health Organisation (WHO) estimate that at the end of 2005, there were 17.5 million women worldwide with HIV infection.  Close to 600,000 children are infected with the virus each year by MTCT, and the majority of these cases are in Africa.  About 90% of the HIV-infected children acquire the infection from their mothers during pregnancy and childbirth. , The estimated rate of MTCT of HIV without intervention is 25-45% (during pregnancy - 5-10%, during delivery - 15-20%, during breast feeding - 5-15%); and the risk factors include high levels of maternal viral load, vaginal delivery, prematurity and breast feeding, among others. 
HIV counselling and testing, anti-retroviral (ARV) prophylaxis, safer delivery and safer infant feeding practices are strategies for the prevention of maternal to child transmission of HIV. Voluntary counselling and testing is important in reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS in the general population, pregnant women inclusive. The screening of pregnant women can serve as an entry point for HIV-positive pregnant women to access ARV drugs, which will reduce the chances of transmission of the virus to newborns, and also prolong and improve the quality of life of the mothers, thereby increasing the survival of both mothers and their children. The aim of this research was to establish HIV seroprevalence and baseline data among the pregnant women attending the antenatal clinic at General Hospital Minna, Nigeria, which could subsequently be used to monitor the trend of the disease.
| Materials and Methods|| |
Area of Study
This study was conducted among pregnant women attending the antenatal clinic at General Hospital Minna. Minna is the State Capital of Niger state. It is located on Latitude 9 37' N and Longitude 6 33' E and the climate is tropical in nature, characterized by tropical dry and wet seasons. Niger state shares a boundary with Abuja, which is the Federal Capital of Nigeria.
The study was a hospital-based descriptive cross-sectional survey and was carried between 1 st October and 30 th November, 2007. On every antenatal day during the study, the pregnant women were given health talks on HIV/AIDS and were educated on the importance of knowing their status. Consenting attendees were recruited and included in the survey and those not interested were excluded.
Administration of Questionnaire and Interview
Semi-structured questionnaires were administered to 231 consenting pregnant women for the survey. Respondents who could not read or write were interviewed in Hausa or English by the researchers and the trained hospital staff. Information elicited included age and stage of the pregnancy, among others.
Collection of Specimens
Three millilitres of blood was drawn from each of the 231 pregnant women by venepunture. Serum was subsequently separated from each blood sample and stored frozen at -20 C until being tested for the presence of antibodies against HIV.
The sera samples were assayed to detect HIV. Assay for HIV antibodies was carried out on each specimen using an enzyme immunoassay (EIA) kit (Trinity Biotech SeroCard TM HIV, manufactured by TRINITY BIOTECH, Jamestown, NY 14701, USA). A confirmatory test was carried out on the HIV-positive sera using another EIA kit (ImmunoComb II HIV, manufactured by Orgenics, North Industrial zone, Yavne, Israel). The assay was carried out following the manufacturer's instructions. This technique meets the requirement for HIV testing according to the national guidelines on prevention of MTCT of HIV in Nigeria 2005.
Analysis of data was carried out using SPSS version 15.0 software. The Student t-test was used to test for a significant difference between means and the Chi square test was used for testing of significance of association. A P-value of less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Microsoft word for windows 98 was used for tabulation of data.
Informed consent was obtained from the hospital management board through the medical director of the hospital and from the pregnant women attending the ante-natal clinic, with the assurance that all information obtained would be confidential. Only those who were interested in knowing their results had the results disclosed to them. Both those that tested positive and negative to HIV had post-test counselling.
| Results|| |
Eighteen of the 231 samples collected from the pregnant women tested positive for HIV thus giving a seroprevalence of 7.8%. No statistically significant difference between HIV seropositivity and the age groups was found.
| Discussion|| |
The result of the testing among the pregnant women showed a high prevalence of 7.8%, which will serve as a baseline data. This is higher than that of the national prevalence among the general population in Nigeria of 4.4%  and lower than the prevalence of 8.2% recorded in a study in Jos by researchers.  Records from other studies gave a prevalence of 1.0% among blood donors in Port Harcourt,  3.1% among unemployed people in Port Harcourt  and 8.2% among couples attending the fertility clinic in Sagamu.  A similar study among pregnant women in Okene revealed a prevalence of 2.83%. 
A significant proportion of those who tested positive for HIV were in age group of 16-45 years, which are the productive and sexually active age group [Table 1]. This agrees with the study of HIV infection among pregnant women in Nigeria  and another study in which the reactive cases were within the age group of 20-29 years.  Other studies on HIV seroprevalence among other study populations had their highest frequency among the age bracket of 20-29years. ,, The probable reason for this is that people in these age groups are more sexually active than those in other age groups, and are more likely to have multiple sexual partners, thereby increasing their risk of contracting the disease.
Analysis of the educational status of the pregnant women in this study showed that a greater percentage of them had no formal education. The HIV prevalence was inversely associated with increased educational status [Table 2]. This could be the result of the positive influence of education and public enlightenment/awareness on the disease.
|Table 2 :Prevalence of HIV in relation to sociodemographic characteristics (education and occupation) of pregnant women|
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Percentage of infection among the different occupational groups varied; the highest being among housewives, followed by business women [Table 2]. However, there is no statistical significance between the HIV prevalence, educational status and occupation of the study population (education: P-value = 0.576; occupation: P-value = 0.766).
Sixty percent of the 231 pregnant women screened for HIV were in the 2 nd trimester of gestation, and 13 of the 18 reactive were in the 2 nd trimester. This showed that the majority of the pregnant women in the study booked at 2 nd trimester of gestation [Table 3]. This is important in mounting a sensitization campaign on the need for HIV screening of women before and during pregnancy so that intervention could be started early to prevent the transmission of the virus from mother to child. There are studies that showed decreased MTCT of HIV with the early introduction of ARV drugs. ,,
| Conclusion|| |
The study showed a significant HIV prevalence that could serve as a baseline data for subsequent monitoring of the disease among pregnant women in Minna. And, there is a need for sensitization of people on voluntary counselling and testing in view of its advantages.
| Acknowledgment|| |
The authors would like to acknowledge the staff, management and attendees of the antenatal clinic of General Hospital Minna, Nigeria, who made the research a reality.
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[Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3]