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High Rate of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) among Asymptomatic Pregnant Women in a Resource-poor Setting in the Middle Belt Zone of Nigeria

High Rate of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) among Asymptomatic Pregnant Women in a Resource-poor Setting in the Middle Belt Zone of Nigeria

Cornelius Arome Omatola*, Samson Daniel Iyeh, Shedrach James Abuh, Charles Kehinde Mofolorunsho, Martin-Luther Oseni Okolo and Phoebe Queen Akoh 

Department of Microbiology, P.M.B.1008, Kogi State University, Anyigba, Nigeria.

omatolac@gmail.com 

ABSTRACT

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can complicate pregnancy and may be associated with adverse health outcomes for both the woman and her developing baby. Despite the serious health consequences of STIs, information is lacking regarding the magnitude of the disease in the study setting. This study investigated the prevalence of five major STIs (HIV, HBV, HCV, HSV-2 and syphilis) in asymptomatic women in Anyigba. Sera samples from a cross-section of 250 consenting pregnant women on antenatal visits to five health facilities were screened for HIV, HBV, HCV and HSV-2 using commercially available immunochromatographic based kits and for syphilis using non-treponemal and treponemal antibody test. Socio-demographic and obstetric parameters were obtained using structured questionnaires. Sixty-four (25.6%) out of 250 women had at least one STI. The overall prevalence of syphilis, HIV, HBV, HCV and HSV-2 were 28(11.2%), 21(8.4%), 10(4.0%), 5(2.0%) and 0% respectively. Women who were married, unemployed, aged 15-35 years and of low-income earners had a higher prevalence of STIs. Factors such as a history of STIs in women and husbands, blood transfusions, genital ulcers and trimesters were significantly related to a higher predisposition to STIs. Conclusively, a high prevalence of STIs was observed among asymptomatic pregnant women in the study area. Our findings highlight a concern with economic consequences. Hence intervention programs including comprehensive screening of pregnant women with increased access to health care and treatment of confirmed cases at an affordable cost should be promoted to reduce STIs thereby reducing associated morbidities and mortalities.  

 

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Hosts and Viruses

April

Vol. 7, Iss. 2, Pages 20-38

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