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HIV Among Military Personnel in the Niger Delta of Nigeria

HIV Among Military Personnel in the Niger Delta of Nigeria,10.1007/s10900-011-9411-5,Journal of Community Health,O. Azuonwu,O. Erhabor,O. Obire

HIV Among Military Personnel in the Niger Delta of Nigeria  
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The military community is considered a high-risk environment for HIV transmission. In this study, a total of One hundred and fifty military personnel aged between 20 and 55 years attending the Nigerian army Hospital, Air Force Clinic and Police Clinic in the Niger Delta of Nigeria were randomly recruited for the study. Samples were tested for HIV using an immunochromatographic assay. The CD4 cell count was estimated using the Partec Cyflow Counter (Partec, Germany). Results of the study showed an overall HIV prevalence rate of 14.67%. The prevalence of HIV was significantly higher among subjects in the ≥40 years age group (P = 0.03). The HIV prevalence was higher among female subjects compared to male military personnel (P = 0.05). Also, there was a significant negative correlation between the CD4 count and HIV positivity (r = −0.443, P<0.01). Out of the 22 subjects positive for HIV, 9.1% were severely immune compromised with CD4 count below<200 cells/μL while 72.7 and 18.2% had CD4 count of 200–350 and 350–500 cells/μL respectively. There is need for the development of a strategic plan that integrates HIV/AIDS and other STIs programs into existing systems and structures to foster behavior change through information dissemination. Policies should be instituted to make condoms regularly available and freely distributed, with the goal of achieving a 100%-condom-use rate. There is the need for an effective voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) and sentinel surveillance survey in the Nigerian military. Also critical is the establishment of a fully integrated and comprehensive care and support system including universal access of antiretroviral treatment for infected people.
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