Publisher: University of Calabar Teaching Hospital

HIV Sero-Positivity In Surgical Patients In A Nigerian Teaching Hospital - A Management Challenge

Usoro N. I., Ibanga I.
KEYWORDS: HIV • Seropositivity • Surgical patients • Nigeria • Epidemiology • Challenges


This study aimed to identify epidemiological characteristics of HIV seropositive patients in Surgery Department, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH), Nigeria, and the challenges in diagnosing and managing these patients. Records of the HIV Laboratory in Hematology Department, UCTH were examined retrospectively and compared with records in the Surgical Wards, Surgical Outpatient Department, and Casualty Department between January 1999 and December 2002. Name of patient, age, sex, Hospital Number, Ward, Serology Kits used, and test results were extracted there from. Total number of HIV seropositive patients recorded for the period was 992, out of which 228 patients (23%) were from Surgery Department. Peak age group was 21-30 years (63 cases). Overall Male to Female (M:F) ratio was 1.1: 1 but females predominated in age group 21-30 years (M:F 1: 1.2) and in an unspecified group of "Adults" (M:F 1:1.3). Records showed that only Rapid Enzyme Immunoassay and Latex agglutination tests kits were used. There were no confirmatory tests and no evidence of consistent follow-up or treatment. We concluded that a significant proportion of HIV seropositive patients was being identified by Surgery Department, UCTH, apparently due to almost routine testing of surgical patients; yet they were mostly not followed and treated. The most active and reproductive age group was worst affected. The "African phenomenon" of near-equal M:F ratio present here suggests a predominantly heterosexual transmission

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