Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection has become a pandemic worldwide especially among the obstetric population where prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) of the infection is still a major challenge. The objective of this study is to determine the prevalence of HIV seropositivity and pregnancy outcome among obstetric patients in Abakaliki, Southeast Nigeria. A retrospective review of all deliveries at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Abakaliki, Ebonyi State over a period of three years (January 2006 to December 2008) was done. The records of all HIV positive patients who delivered in the hospital were retrieved for detailed analysis. One thousand eight hundred and sixty six (1866) deliveries were conducted during the period. Of these, 94 patients were HIV positive giving a seroprevalence rate of 5.04%. Seventy percent were between 25 and 30 years. Majority (90%) had some form of education while 10% were illiterates. Most diagnoses (93.3%) were made in pregnancy, 73.3% received antiretroviral therapy and 86.7% delivered vaginally. Thirty percent of the babies were exclusively breastfed. Maternal mortality ratio was 3,300 per 100,000 births, while perinatal mortality was 67 per 1,000 for this group of patients. It is concluded that the seroprevalence rate is high with associated adverse maternal and perinatal outcome. Routine screening by the general populace is advocated, as most diagnoses were made during antenatal care. There is also need to educate our women on safe delivery and breastfeeding options.
Key words: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) seroprevalence, maternal outcome, perinatal outcome, Abakaliki, Southeast Nigeria.
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