Published online Apr 27, 2013. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v5.i4.196
Revised: February 5, 2013
Accepted: February 28, 2013
Published online: April 27, 2013
AIM: To document the epidemiologic patterns and risk factors of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections in Mali in order to develop prevention means for both diseases.
METHODS: Two prospective studies were conducted in Bamako in 2009 among 1000 pregnant women (i.e., young women) who consulted six reference health centers, and in 2010, among 231 older women who attended general practice in two hospitals. Antibody tests and molecular analysis (performed only for HCV) were used to quantify the frequencies of both infections. The data were collected from patients recruited through a questionnaire. Transmission risk factors of both diseases were identified by univariate and multivariate analysis.
RESULTS: HCV seroprevalence was 0.2% for young and 6.5% for older women. HIV prevalence was similar in both populations (4.1% vs 6.1%). In older women, the analysis of risk factors highlighted an association between HCV infection and episodes of hospitalization (P < 0.01). The study did not show an association between HIV infection and the variables such as hospitalization, transfusion, tattoo, dental care, and endoscopy. A significant decrease of HIV seroprevalence was detected in young women who used condoms for contraception more than for other purposes (P < 0.01). By contrast, HIV seroprevalence was significantly increased in young women using condoms mainly to prevent sexual infections rather than for contraception (P < 0.01). No HCV/HIV coinfection was detected in our study.
CONCLUSION: Risk factors and epidemiologic data of HIV and HCV as well as the absence of co-infection strongly suggest epidemiological disparities between these diseases.
Core tip: In Mali, hepatitis C virus (HCV) studies have been mostly conducted among specific populations such as blood donors, patients suffering from chronic hepatitis or hemodialysis patients. Studies on the extent and epidemiology of HCV infection in the general Malian population are not abundant. The present study demonstrates that the risk factors classically associated to HCV infection, such as transfusion, are not dominant in this African population. The data presented in this paper have important implications in designing effective prevention strategies for human immunodeficiency virus and HCV infections.