, Volume 12, Issue 1 Supplement, pp 25-31
Date: 10 Apr 2008

A Population-based Survey of the Prevalence of HIV, Syphilis, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C Infections, and Associated Risk Factors Among Young Women in Vitória, Brazil

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Objective To estimate the prevalence of HIV, hepatitis B (HBV) and C (HCV), and syphilis infections and associated risk exposures in a population-based sample of young women in Vitória, Brazil. Methods From March to December 2006, a cross-sectional sample of women aged 18–29 years was recruited into a single stage, population-based study. Serological markers of HIV, HBV, HCV, and syphilis infections and associated risk exposures were assessed. Results Of 1,200 eligible women, 1,029 (85.8%) enrolled. Median age was 23 (interquartile range 20–26) years; 32.2% had ≤8 years of education. The survey weighted prevalence estimates were: HIV, 0.6% [(95% CI), 0.1%, 1.1%]; anti-HBc, 4.2% (3.0%, 5.4%); HBsAg, 0.9% (0.4%, 1.6%); anti-HCV, 0.6% (0.1%, 1.1%), and syphilis 1.2% (0.5%, 1.9%). Overall, 6.1% had at least one positive serological marker for any of the tested infections. A majority (87.9%) was sexually active, of whom 12.1% reported a previously diagnosed sexually transmitted infection (STI) and 1.4% a history of commercial sex work. Variables independently associated with any positive serological test included: older age (≥25 vs. <25 years), low monthly income (≤4× vs. >4× minimum wage), previously diagnosed STI, ≥1 sexual partner, and any illicit drug use. Conclusions These are the first population-based estimates of the prevalence of exposure to these infectious diseases and related risks in young women, a population for whom there is a scarcity of data in Brazil.