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J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2002 Dec 15;31(5):506-13.

HIV infection in rural villages of Cameroon.

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Department of Pathology, New York University School of Medicine, c/o VA Medical Center, 423 E. 23rd Street, Room 18124N, New York, NY 10010, USA.



To evaluate HIV-1 antibody seroprevalence and risk factors for HIV seropositivity in rural areas of Cameroon.


The prevalences of HIV antibodies in 53 villages in rural Cameroon visited during May-October 2000 were determined with an HIV1/2 rapid assay, standard ELISA, and western blot. Demographic data and risk factors were elicited via face-to-face interviews with a structured questionnaire.


HIV seroprevalence was 5.8% (243/4156, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 5.1-6.6) overall, 6.3% (151/2394, 95% CI = 5.4-7.4) among females and 5.2% (92/1762, 95% CI = 4.3-6.4) among males. HIV seroprevalence among persons aged 15 - 70 years did not differ significantly by province (5.6% in Center, 4.5% in East, 6.9% in South, and 5.8% in South-West) ( =.10). Analysis of age- and gender-standardized prevalence by village across provinces indicated a near-significant difference (nonparametric Wilcoxon signed rank test, =.06), with highest prevalence in South-West, followed by South, Center, and East. Multivariate analysis revealed that single women were significantly more likely to be HIV seropositive than were married or widowed women. Women with a history of sexual relations while traveling were at significantly increased risk of HIV seropositivity (OR adjusted for age and marital status = 2.4, 95% CI = 1.4-9.7). Among men, those who reported ever having a sexually transmitted disease were at significantly increased risk of HIV-seropositivity (OR adjusted for age = 1.8, 95% CI = 1.1-2.8).


We have documented a wide range of HIV prevalences among rural villages of Cameroon. Age, marital status (in women) and sexual risk factors appear to be associated with HIV infection in this setting.

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