Prevalence of the Human Immunodeficiency
Virus, the Hepatitis B Virus and the Hepatitis C Virus among the Patients at a Tertiary Health Care Centre: A Five Year Study
Institute of Medical Sciences,
Dept. of Microbiology,
Mangalore, Karnataka, India - 575004.
Background: Infection with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), the Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) and the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) is a global health problem. Epidemiological studies worldwide show wide variations in the prevalence patterns of the HIV, Hepatitis B and the Hepatitis C Virus infections. Globally, a total of 39.5 million were living with HIV in 2006, of which approximately 5.7 million were from India. Early detection can contribute substantially to the timely diagnosis of the patients with acute illnesses and to an early treatment and hence, it can limit the transmission of the infection.
Aim: To provide a baseline data on the prevalence of HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C among the patients who were referred to our hospital over a period of 5 years (2006-2010). This study was planned to evaluate the prevalence of the HIV coinfection with the Hepatitis B and C viruses among the patients who were admitted to and were attending the hospital.
Materials and Methods: This was a retrospective study which was carried out among the patients who were attending the AJ Hospital Kuntikana Mangalore, over a period of five years (January 2006 â€“ December 2010). The sera of the patients were initially tested for the presence of anti-HIV antibodies as per the National Aids Control Organisation (NACO) guidelines and they were tested for HBsAg (Hepatitis B surface antigen) and the anti-HCV antibody by an Enzyme linked Immuno-sorbent Assay (ELISA) test.
Results: Out of 24,576 samples or sera which were studied, 608 (2.5%) were sero-positive cases. These included 318 with antibodies to HIV, 285 with antibodies to the Hepatitis B surface antigen and 5 with antibodies to the Hepatitis C Virus. Among the positive cases, a majority were of the age group of 21 to 40 years, with a male preponderance. The anti-HCV positivity showed a significant downward trend during the study period.
Conclusion: The overall prevalence of the positivity for these three markers among the patients who attended the AJ Hospital in this study was comparatively lower than that which was reported by other studies from India. The lower incidence of the HCV positivity which was found in this study was probably due to the lack of awareness about the co-infection with HBV and this was not screened for. Our study demonstrated low HIV / HCV/HBV co-infection rates.