Malaria and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in pregnancy are the major factors contributing to adverse maternal and perinatal outcome. HIV increases pregnant women’s chances of contracting malaria, increases the risk of developing anaemia, delivering a low birth weight infant and premature delivery. This study was designed to investigate the level of co-infection of malaria parasite and HIV in pregnant women in State Specialist Hospital, Akure. 616 pregnant women aged 15 to 46 years who attended major referral health facilities for ante-natal purposes between February and April, 2012 were included for the study. ‘Determine’ and Uni-Gold rapid diagnostic tests kits were used to determine HIV status, giemsa stained thick blood smear of patients were examined for presence of the asexual stages of Plasmodium parasite. Out of 616 pregnant women, 28 (4.55%) were HIV positive and 597 (96.92%) had malaria parasite. Among HIV negative women, 569 (96.8%) had malaria parasite infection while 28 (100%) of the HIV positive women had the infection. This study revealed that 92.37% had malaria alone, none of the women had HIV only and 28 (4.55%) were co-infected with both pathogens, indicating that all HIV positive women also harbor malaria parasite. There was moderate correlation between HIV and malaria parasite p < 0.05 which is suggestive that women infected with HIV are most likely to be infected with malaria due to their compromised immune system which makes them more susceptible to malaria infection. The rate of malaria infection was generally high in the sampled population though majority was infected at low parasiteamia. This is therefore attributed to the endemic nature of the disease in Ondo state of Nigeria
Key words: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), malaria, co-infection HIV-MALARIA, antenatal care, pregnant women.
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