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Adekanle O, Ndububa DA, Ayodeji OO, Paul-Odo B, Folorunso TA
Correspondence: Dr Olusegun Adekanle, firstname.lastname@example.org
Introduction Hepatitis B can be spread by several routes, including sexually. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of sexual transmission of the virus among the Nigerian population.
Methods This was a prospective cross-sectional study involving 234 blood donors in a Nigerian tertiary hospital. Each prospective donor was screened for hepatitis B surface antigen using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay test. A structured questionnaire was used to obtain information regarding the possible routes of hepatitis B acquisition and the number of lifetime heterosexual partners. Respondents were divided into three risk groups. The data obtained was analysed, and the frequencies, percentages, means and standard deviations were obtained. The chi-square test was used to compare categorical variables, and a p-value equal or less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results A total of 234 respondents aged 18 to 56 years (mean 27.3 years) participated in the study. 223 were male and 11 were female. The overall seroprevalence of hepatitis B was 17.1 percent. The seroprevalence was higher among participants without sexual partners (20.6 percent) and those with multiple sexual partners (20.0 percent), but lower among those with single sexual partners (15.0 percent). A history of needle injuries, jaundice and injections from quacks were statistically significant when these risks were combined with a sexual risk for hepatitis B virus infection (p-value is less than 0.05).
Conclusion Sexual transmission of hepatitis B was not found to be an important factor. Preventive strategies should include universal hepatitis B vaccination and discouraging the indiscriminate use of sharp objects and unauthorised medical practices.
Keywords: blood, hospital, institution, transmission, virus
Singapore Med J 2010; 51(12): 944-947