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Aim: This study reports on the detection of Treponema pallidum (syphilis) antibodies in HIV infected patients in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Screening for syphilis was carried out to determine the prevalence levels of these infections, as biological markers of risk, modes, and time functions of their transmission.
Study Design: Cross-sectional study.
Place and Duration of Study: University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) and O.B. Lulu Briggs Medical Centre, University of Port Harcourt, both in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, between August 2012 and July 2015.
Methods: A total of 100 HIV-infected individuals and 100 sexually-active attendees were recruited for this study. Samples of blood were collected and re-screened for the presence of HIV antibodies using the Determine HIV-1/2 (Alere), HIV ½ Stat-Pak (Chembio), and HIV-1/2/P24/O ELISA kit (Dia.Pro). The same set of samples were screened for Treponema pallidum specific antibodies using the syphilis Ultra Rapid Test Strip (ACON(R), USA) and syphilis rapid strips (Global, USA) following the respective manufacturer's instructions.
Results: Among the 200 samples, serological reactivity was detected for syphilis in 3(1.5%). The incidence of syphilis was higher in males (2.0%) than in females (1.0%). Age, sex, and locality did not significantly (P>0.05) influence the rate of syphilis.
Conclusion: This study further confirms the presence of syphilis among the population studied. Routine screening of Syphilis among patients is therefore advocated.
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