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  1. Margaret Japhet2,
  2. Moses Adewumi1,
  3. Adesina Olufisayo2
  1. 1Department of Virology, University College Hospital, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
  2. 2Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria


Background HIV, Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) and Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) are life threatening viral infections. Co-infections are possible since they share routes of transmission through exchange of blood/body fluids. Youths are the most vulnerable to HIV infection due to unsafe practices. There is no free counselling and testing for HBV/HCV in Nigeria, hence many may not be aware of their HBV/HCV status. This study assessed prevalence, knowledge and risk factors of transmission among University students in order to provide preventive intervention.

Methods Previously counselled/consenting university students (total=903, M=502, F=428; age range 16–40 years; mean age 19 years) were enrolled. Relevant information was collected through questionnaire. About 5 ml of blood was collected from each student and serum recovered was analysed for detectable HIV antigens/antibodies using specific ELISA kit. HIV antigen/antibody-positives were analysed for detectable hepatitis B surface antigen and anti-HCV. The HIV and HBV-positives were compared in terms of gender, age group, and risk factors by use of chi-square and Fischer exact tests, with two-tailed significance using SPSS version 20.0.1 for Windows.

Result Of the 930 students examined, 630 (67.7%) were sexually active and 104 (16.5%) had multiple sex partners. Knowledge of HIV, HBV and HCV status was 55%, 36.3% and 4.2% respectively. Overall, 13 (1.40%) students had detectable HIV antigens and/or antibodies, 5 (38.5%) of whom were HBV-positive, none had HCV infection. All HBV-positive students were ignorant of their HBV status. HIV and HBV-positive students fall within age range 15–24 years with higher HIV/HBV prevalence in females than males. Statistical significance exists between HIV, HBV prevalence and a) gender, b) number of sex partners, and c) sharing sharps with people of unknown HIV/HBV status (p=0.005; 0.002 and 0.005, respectively).

Conclusion Knowledge about HBV and HCV is generally low among the students. Awareness campaigns specifically tailored towards educating young adults on HIV, HBV and HCV prevention/control should be encouraged.

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