HIV Prevalence among Secondary School Student Blood Donors in Nairobi County, Kenya
Lorre, Moses C. O
Gicheru, M. M
Kabiru, E. W
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The Human Immune deficiency Virus and the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome situation in Kenya has affected blood collection in the country leading to a decline from 150,000 units to about 70,000 units annually, yet the demand for blood in Kenya exceeds 300,000 units per year. Schools are a major source of blood in all counties of Kenya and more than 60% of blood in Kenya is collected from secondary school students but the data on HIV prevalence in this category of donors is scarce. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of HIV among secondary school student blood donors in Nairobi County and to determine their knowledge on blood donation and blood transfusion practices. Four hundred and thirty four (434) student blood donors were screened for anti-HIV antibodies. Two hundred and forty eight (248) of the students were male and 186 were females. The age of the students ranged between 16–28 years with a mean age of 17.25 ±1.057 years. Mean age for male students was 18 ± 1.433 years, while the mean age for the female students was 17 ± 1.057 years. Questionnaires to determine the students’ knowledge on blood donation and blood transfusion practices were given to the students to fill before blood samples were collected from them by a qualified medical laboratory professional. All blood samples collected were tested for HIV antibodies using Vironostika Uni-FormII Ag/Ab ELISA method (Biomerieux, France) and confirmation done by Enzygnost HIV 1&2 4th generation ELISA test (Simens AG, Germany). Three (3) (0.7%) out of the 434 donors were positive for HIV and 431 (99.3%) were negative. Of these, two (0.46%) were males and one (0.23%) was a female. The data was analyzed using the SPSS version 22. Probability (p) value < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. The results showed a low prevalence of HIV among student blood donors in secondary schools compared to the general population. The study also shows there is low knowledge on blood donation and blood transfusion practices among secondary school student blood donors. Recommendation is made for strengthening the recruitment of secondary school students as voluntary unremunerated blood donors as a more effective strategy to reducing the risk of obtaining HIV infe cted blood from donors. Extensive and effective use of information education and communication materials to sensitize the secondary school student donor popula tion on blood donations and blood transfusion practices is also recommended.