HIV Infection, HIV/HCV and HIV/HBV co-infections among Jail Inmates of Lahore

Muhammad Nafees, Akif Qasim, Ghazala Jafferi, Muhammad Saeed Anwar, Muhammad Muazzam

Abstract


Objective: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection constitutes an important prison health care concern but data on HIV epidemiology among jail inmates of developing world including Pakistan is limited. The present study was carried out to find out the prevalence of HIV infection among inmates of two jails of Lahore, Pakistan.
Methodology: Cross sectional prevalence survey of a total of 4915 jail inmates (4498 male and 417 females) was conducted during a seven months period, from May 2009 to November 2009 in the inmates of “District and Central Jails of Lahore”. They were divided into four groups according to age. A blood sample was collected from each survey participant. All collected blood samples were screened for HIV antibodies, HBsAg and anti-HCV with rapid testing immunochromatographic (ICT) kits. All positive test results were confirmed by using the ELISA technique.
Results: The overall HIV prevalence rate was 2.01% and 77.78% of them had co-infections. HIV/HCV co-infection was detected in 73.74% of HIV positive inmates. Among women prisoners, one Pakistani and four Africans were found HIV positive. HIV infection and HBV/HCV co-infection was more prevalent in the age group 16-30 years.
Conclusion: The prevalence rate of HIV infection and its HBV/HCV co-infection in jail inmates is much higher than the general population and the prevalence rate reported earlier from other jails in Pakistan. Health information on jail populations is important as this is a vulnerable group, with frequent movement in and out of the general community. Urgent prevention efforts are needed as HIV prevalence is already 2%.

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