Malaria and HIV sero-positivity: study on selected individuals at a tertiary healthcare centre in Port Harcourt, Nigeria
Over 50% of the global population is vulnerable to malaria infection. An estimated 300 million malaria cases occur annually in the tropics with 90% of these in the sub-Sahara, a region that already suffers the greatest burden of HIV-1 infection. This study assessed the prevalence of HIV and malaria infections in a cohort of 200 undergraduates, consisting of 100 females and 100 males, attending the Health Centre at the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Blood samples were screened for the presence of malaria and HIV, using SD Boline malaria Antigen P.F. test kit and Determine® HIV one step rapid Kit. The overall prevalence for HIV in this study was 2.5% while the overall prevalence of malaria was 1.5%. The prevalence of HIV based on gender was 2.0% and 3 % for females and males, respectively. For malaria, these values were 2.0% and 1.0% for females and males, respectively. No incident of co-infection was recorded in this study. The findings did not indicate any relationship between HIV seropositivity and malaria infection but underscored the low incidence of both malaria and HIV within the 17-26 age range and amongst relatively well-educated individuals. In spite of the low prevalence observed, there is still the need for awareness of HIV and Malaria prevention amongst university students. Further studies could be undertaken to investigate other relevant epidemiology parameters with regards to HIV and malaria in the tropics.
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