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Free Content Nationwide HIV prevalence survey in general population in Niger

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A national population-based survey was carried out in Niger in 2002 to assess HIV prevalence in the population aged 15–49 years. A two-stage cluster sampling was used and the blood specimens were collected on filter paper and tested according to an algorithm involving up to three diagnostic tests whenever appropriate. Testing was unlinked and anonymous. The refusal rate was 1.1% and 6056 blood samples were available for analysis. The adjusted prevalence of HIV was 0.87% (95% CI, 0.5–1.3%) and the 95% CI of the estimated number of infected individuals was 22 864–59 640. HIV-1 and HIV-2 represented, respectively, 95.6% and 2.9% of infections while dual infections represented 1.5%. HIV positivity rate was 1.0% in women and 0.7% in men. It was significantly higher among urban populations than among rural ones (respectively, 2.1% and 0.6%, P < 10−6). Using logistic regression, the variables significantly related to the risk of being tested positive for HIV were urban housing, increasing age and being either widowed or divorced. The estimate from the national survey was lower than the prevalence assessed from antenatal clinic data (2.8% in 2001). In the future, the representativeness of sentinel sites should be improved by increasing the representation of rural areas accounting for more than 80% of the population. Compared with other sub-Saharan countries, the HIV prevalence in Niger is still moderate. This situation represents a strong argument for enhancing prevention programmes and makes realistic the projects promoting an access to potent antiretroviral therapies for the majority.
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Keywords: HIV; Niger; adults; dried blood spots; population-based survey; prevalence; randomized sample

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Centre de Recherches Médicales et Sanitaires (CERMES), Niamey, Niger 2: Faculté des Sciences de la Santé, Niamey, Niger 3: Ministère de la Santé Publique et de la Lutte contre les Endémies, Niamey, Niger 4: Care International Niger, Niamey, Niger

Publication date: 2004-11-01

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