HIV-1 Seroprevalence among Pregnant Women in Rural Uganda: A Longitudinal Study over Fifteen YearsReuschel E. · Tibananuka S. · Seelbach-Goebel B.
Introduction: In order to determine the development of the prevalence of HIV infection in rural Western Uganda, data of epidemiological studies conducted in 2001 and 2007 were compared to study data from 1993. Methods: In 2001 (n = 466) and in 2007 (n = 486), one group each of clinically healthy pregnant women of a local prenatal care department were enrolled in the study and anonymously screened for HIV-1. For both groups, informed consent was obtained prior to enrolment. Testing for HIV was done by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and confirmed by Western blot. In addition, age and antibodies against syphilis were determined as risk factors of HIV infection. Results: The seroprevalence of HIV-1 infection did not decrease significantly over this time period, dropping from 28.3 to 25.1% between 2001 and 2007, but the prevalence of syphilis antibodies decreased from 27.9 to 11.1%. The data of 2001 and 2007 were compared to a third cohort from 1993, in which 21.5% of pregnant women were HIV-1-positive and 31.1% were Treponema pallidum hemagglutination assay (TPHA)-positive. Conclusion: The current prevalence of HIV-1 infection in Uganda is still high and there is a need for further promotion of HIV prevention and control services.
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