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Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 1990 Jan-Feb;84(1):144-7.

HIV, HBV, delta-agent and Treponema pallidum infections in two rural African areas.

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  • 1Department of Infectious Diseases, S. Anna Hospital, Como, Italy.


In order to compare the seroepidemiology of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus, delta agent and Treponema pallidum infections in two rural populations living in north Uganda (Kitgum district) and in central Burundi (Butezi, Ruyigi region), 448 sera were tested for HBS-Ag, HBS-Ab, and anti-HIV antibodies and screened for syphilis using the T. pallidum haemagglutination (TPHA) test. HBS-Ag positive sera were also tested for anti-delta antibodies. Overall seropositivity rates in healthy subjects, outpatients and inpatients (non-AIDS) were 14.2% and 9.5% in Kitgum district and Butezi, respectively. The prevalence of HBS-Ag and HBS-Ab ranged from 10.0% to 15.6% and from 66.2% to 68.9%, respectively. In north Uganda the rates of anti-delta positivity were 3.1% in the overall population and 30.6% in the HBS-Ag positive subjects. No serum obtained in Butezi was anti-delta positive. In Ugandan people, 64.0% of anti-HIV positive and 25.8% of anti-HIV negative patients were also TPHA-positive (P less than 0.01). For Butezi the corresponding figures were 21.4% and 1.6% respectively (P less than 0.04). On the contrary, no correlation was found between either anti-HIV or TPHA positives and seropositivity for B and delta hepatitis serological markers. The study demonstrated an association between seropositivities for HIV and T. pallidum (TPHA), suggesting common patterns of transmission. On the contrary, no association seemed to exist between HBV and HIV infections.

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