Annals of Tropical Medicine and Public Health
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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 235-240

Prevalence and risk factors for hepatitis B and C among sexually active undergraduates in southwestern Nigeria

Department of Community Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Osun State University, Osogbo, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Adebimpe Wasiu Olalekan
Department of Community Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Osun State University, PMB - 4494, Osogbo
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.162635

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Introduction: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections are sources of mortality and morbidity, threatening global public health. Numerous social activities of youths, which are not perceived as risky, put them at risk of contracting these infections. The objective of this study was to assess the prevalence and risk factors for hepatitis B and C among sexually active female undergraduates in southwestern Nigeria. Materials and Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out among 306 sexually active female undergraduates of a university in southwestern Nigeria who were selected using multistage sampling method. Research instruments were self-administered, semi-structured pretested questionnaires. Data were analyzed using the SPSS software. Results: The mean age of the respondents was 22.0 ± 2.7 years. Two hundred and fifty one (82.0%) respondents were aware of hepatitis, with 27.6% and 72.4% having "good" and "poor" knowledge, respectively, of the risk factors of hepatitis. Nineteen (6.2%) respondents were reactive to hepatitis B, seven (2.3%) were reactive to hepatitis C while two (1.6%) showed coinfection by both viruses. Based on the grouping of the identified risk factors to hepatitis, 190 (62.1%) had a single risk, 77 (25.2%) had double risk while 39 (12.7%) had multiple risk factors for hepatitis infections. Knowledge of risk factors does not have any statistically significant association with the occurrence of risk factors (P < 0.05). The occurrence of multiple risk factors was 7 and 11 times more likely to be a predictor of hepatitis B and C, respectively, compared to having sexual intercourse alone that is a single risk factor. Conclusion: University undergraduates are at a risk of contracting hepatitis infections. High awareness but poor knowledge of hepatitis and a significant seroprevalence rate underscores the need for awareness and more efforts on the part of university health services.

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