Daw M.A.,University of Sfax |
Shabash A.,University of Sfax |
Dau A.A.,University of Sfax |
Elasafer H.,Libyan Arab Jamahiriya |
And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014
Background: In 1998 Libya experienced a major outbreak of multiple blood borne viral hepatitis and HIV infections. Since then, no studies have been done on the epidemic features and risk factors of HBV, HCV, HIV and co-infection among the general population. Methods: A prospective study was carried out using a multi-centre clustering method to collect samples from the general population. The participants were interviewed, and relevant information was collected, including socio-demographic, ethnic, and geographic variables. This information was correlated with the risk factors involved in the transmission of HBV, HCV and HIV. Blood samples were collected and the sera were tested for HBsAg, anti-HCV and anti-HIV using enzyme immunoassay. Results: A total of 9,170 participants from the nine districts of Tripoli were enrolled. The average prevalence of HBsAg was 3.7%, anti-HCV 0.9%, anti-HIV 0.15% and co-infection 0.02%. The prevalence varied from one district to another. HBV was more prevalent among those aged over 50 years and was associated with family history. Anti-HCV and anti-HIV were more prevalent among those aged 20-40 years. Intravenous drug use and blood transfusion were the main risk factors for HCV and HIV infection. Conclusion: HBV, HCV, HIV and co-infection are relatively common in Libya. High prevalence was associated with geographic, ethnic and socioeconomic variability within the community. HCV and HIV infections among the younger age groups are becoming an alarming issue. Regulations and health care education need to be implemented and longer term follow-up should be planned. © 2014 Daw et al.