Prevalence of HSV -2, syphilis and hepatitis B in HIV -1 individuals in selected health facilities in Nairobi, Kenya
Khayota, Grace N. Tago
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HIV infection continues to be among the leading causes of global mortality. Genital ulcer disease increases the risk of HI V infection. Ulcerative STDs such as Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV -2) and syphilis cause breaks in the skin or mucous membranes, disrupt barriers that provide protection againstHIV -1 infections. It has been shown that HSV -2 is the single most important sexually transmitted infection that is fueling the HIV epidemic in Africa. There is also an estimated two to fivefold increased risk of acquiring HIV infection when syphilis is present. Globally, co-infection with Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) and HIV -1 is becoming common and a growing public health concern because both viruses share similar transmission routes. Prevalence rates of HSV-2, HBV and syphilis in HIV-l infected patients in Kenya are scanty. In this study, we sought to determine the prevalence of HSV -2, HBV and syphilis in the same HIV -1 infected persons in four health facilities in Nairobi. CD4 counts were determined using BD F ACSCalibur, HSV -2 infection rates using HSV -2 ELISA tests; Syphilis tests were done using Ultra Rapid Test while the HBV test involved using the Hepanostika® HBsAg Ultra kit. Results obtained from the study will provide additional avenues into the fight against HIV infections. Data generated in this study was ana lysed using statistical package INSTA T. This study found the prevalence of HSV in the sampled population to be 54.2%. The statistical strongly indicated close association between HIV -1 and HSV -2 infections amongst the sampled population. There was indication that being HSV -2 positive did not necessarily affect ones CD4 count. This study showed low prevalence of syphilis and HBV at 2.2% and 4.5% respectively indicating that syphilis and HBV may not be fuelling the HIV -1 pandemic in the sampled population. There was no sample that tested positive for all the three infections (HSV- 2, Syphilis and HBV) nor any sample tested positive for both HBV and Syphilis. This indicated that infection by anyone of the three STls (HSV -2, Syphilis and HBV) does not necessarily predispose one to higher risk of getting infected by any of the other two STIs.