Socio-demographic and clinical features of HIV-positive outpatients at a clinic in south-west Nigeria
Despite the increasing prevalence of HIV in Nigeria, there is scarce knowledge about the spectrum of HIV-related diseases in the country. This paper documents the profile of outpatients seen at the HIV clinic of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), between January 2005 and January 2006. The socio-demographic data and clinical features of the patients were documented and their HIV status was determined using dual enzyme immunoassays; a series of other tests included a CD4 cell count. In all, 240 males and 345 females were included, giving a male to female ratio of 1:1.4. Mean age of the participants overall was 35.9 years (SD = 9.1 years); male patients had a significantly higher mean age than female patients (39.2 vs 35.9 years). Traders comprised the largest occupational group and appear to be a group at high risk of exposure to HIV who may therefore require targeted interventions. Heterosexual intercourse was the presumed mode of exposure to HIV in over 90% of cases. The majority of outpatients had advanced immunosuppression at presentation, with fever, weight loss, diarrhoea and skin lesions being the most common presenting events. Pulmonary tuberculosis was the most frequent AIDS indicator condition. Females had a significantly higher mean CD4 count at presentation than did males (263/mm3 vs 214/mm3). Apart from the apparent predominance of traders and the relatively high proportion of patients with dermatitis, the profile of LUTH HIV/AIDS patients is similar to what has been reported from other centres in sub-Saharan Africa.