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The prevalence of HIV sero discordance among couples attending HIV clinics in Imo State Nigeria

Author: 
Merenu, I. A., Diwe, K. C., Uwakwe, K. A., Duru, C.B., Iwu, A. C., 3Emerole, C. O. and Chineke, H. N.
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Background: In sub-Saharan Africa, serodiscordance is a growing source of HIV-transmissions. A Serodiscordant relationship, also known as magnetic or mixed-status, is one in which one partner is infected by HIV and the other is not. This contrasts with seroconcordant relationships, in which both partners are of the same HIV status. Research involving serodiscordant couples would offer insights into how the virus is passed and how individuals who are HIV positive may be able to reduce the risk of passing the virus to their partner. Objective: This study aims to determine the prevalence of HIV serodiscordance among couples attending HIV clinics in Imo State. Design: Retrospective Methods: A four year retrospective descriptive study. With the aid of a pro forma, relevant data were extracted from the clinic folders of HIV couples from the two major HIV clinics in Imo State i.e. Imo State University Teaching Hospital and Holy Rosary Hospital Emekukwu. Results: A total of 630 couples were studied out of whom 228 were HIV serodiscordant. Our study shows that the prevalence of HIV serodiscordance from 2009 to 2012, among the couples was 36.19%. Majority of HIV positive partners in serodiscondant relationships were women. The mean age of the affected patients was 40.5 years with majority of them being rural dwellers, traders and of low educational background. Mean duration of diagnosis was 3years. Conclusion and recommendations: Early partner testing and notification can avert seroconversion, hence properly designed and mainstreamed interventions that target serodiscordant couples are essential.

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