Globally, human immune deficiency virus (HIV) constitutes a public health problem. Researchers have been curious about the true estimate of HIV prevalence in Nigeria. Therefore, the current study was designed to assess the reliability of the existing estimate in Nigeria. The study was cross-sectional in design and utilized data originally collected by National human immune deficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and Reproductive Health Survey (NARHS) in Nigeria. Analysis was performed using Chi-square, logistic regression and relative inclusion ratio (Alpha = 5%). Mean ages of HIV-positive and HIV-negative women were 29.65 ± 8.5 and 27.88 ± 9.4 years, respectively. Overall fertility rate was higher among HIV positive women than HIV negative women. The multivariate analysis shows that women in the South-west were 0.428(C.I=0.202-0.908; p=0.027) less likely to contact HIV than their counterparts in the North-west. Also women who formally married were approximately 5 (C.I=2.401-9.367; p<0.001) times more likely to contact HIV than those who never married. The relative inclusion ratio (RIR) was higher in urban (1.16) than rural (0.97) areas, and the overall RIR was 1.02. The RIR found in our study is an indication of over-estimation of HIV prevalence in Nigeria. However, HIV prevalence was overestimated and underestimated in urban and rural areas respectively. Accurate statistics on HIV prevalence is necessary in Nigeria. This will assist HIV programmers in their strategies to combat HIV in Nigeria.
Key words: Relative inclusion ratio, fertility rate, human immune deficiency virus (HIV), prevalence, Nigeria.
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