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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 6-10

HIV counseling and testing in a tertiary health facility in Lafia, Nigeria

1 Department of Medicine (Special Treatment Clinic), Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital, Lafia, Nigeria
2 Department of Surgery, Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital, Lafia, Nigeria
3 Department of Surgery, Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria
4 Nasarawa State AIDS Control Agency, Nasarawa State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Audu Esther Solomon
Consultant Medical Microbiologist, Special Treatment Clinic, Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital, P.M.B 007, Lafia, Nasarawa State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Objectives : This study was carried out with the aim of determining the seroprevalence of HIV among clients accessing human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) counseling and testing (HCT) services in Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital, Lafia, North Central Nigeria. The study also determined the personal profile of these clients and their reasons for accessing the HCT services. The findings of the research would be useful in assisting the state government and policy makers to plan for treatment, care, and prevention for those at risk. Materials and Methods : A retrospective review of records of clients who accessed services at the HCT unit of the Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital Lafia over a 2-year period was carried out. Results : A total of 4,292 (50.1%) out of the 8,554 who were tested for HIV were seropositive. 65.7% (2,818) of those who were HIV-seropositive were females while 44% (1,474) were males. Majority (84.7%) of those who were HIV-seropositive were between the ages of 16 to 35 years, and 64.9% of those who were positive were married. Those who came for HCT because of medical reasons had higher seroprevalence than those who came on their own to know their HIV status Conclusion: There is need to encourage activities that promote HCT and especially health provider initiated HCT in all health facilities. This will increase the diagnosis of new HIV cases, thus leading to an early commencement of treatment and initiation of strategies for prevention of transmission from the HIV-infected persons to their partners. Preventive strategies should be tailored towards high-risk groups including those who are married and the young adults to reduce new infections through heterosexual transmission.

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