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Aim: HIV/AIDS remains a leading cause of death and disability in Sub Saharan Africa and this accounts for almost half of the world’s HIV related deaths. On the other hand, bacterial sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as syphilis contributes to the morbidity and mortality obtained in developing countries. Co-infection of syphilis and HIV may increase the risk of HIV transmission and adversely affect reproductive health. Prompt diagnosis and treatment of STDs in HIV positive individuals can help prevent spread to their partners. There is also very little information about incidence and prevalence of HIV/Syphilis co-infection and their determinants. The aim of this study is to evaluate the HIV/Syphilis co-infection among HIV-infected individuals in Uyo, Nigeria.
Methods: A total of 176 individuals living with HIV participated in this study. The average age of the study participants was 39.1 years from a range of 6-67 years. Plasma samples obtained from the human subjects were analysed for presence of HIV and Syphilis antibodies using enzyme-Linked immunosorbent Assay.
Results: Our findings showed that the overall prevalence of HIV/Syphilis co-infection in Uyo was 1.7%. Analysis of the results revealed that the variables—sex and educational background—significantly influenced the rate of syphilis sero-positivity among the population under study. While variables- age, marital status and occupational skills non-significantly influenced the rate of syphilis sero-positivity among the population under study.
Conclusion: This study confirmed the co-infection of HIV and Syphilis in Uyo, Nigeria. Early screening of Syphilis and other STDs contributes to the control of infection and reduces the spread of HIV to partners. A number of primary preventive interventions for HIV and syphilis need to be adopted including use of condoms and medical male circumcision in order to improve sexual and reproductive health amongst individuals.
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