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Prisoners are at exceptional risk of viral infection because of the numerous high risk activities associated with incarceration. Prisons are incubators for infectious disease, yet are not readily accessible for screening and intervention. They provide a high-yield opportunity for early prison employees, but also family members and the general population.
Aim: The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of HIV, HBV and HCV among prisoners in Sokoto State central prison, Sokoto State, Nigeria.
Study Design: This was a cross sectional study involving male prisoners because of certain religious reasons we were not allowed access to female prisoners
Duration: The study lasted for three months between April to June, 2015
Methodology: A total of 99 male prisoners from Sokoto State central prison had their blood samples collected and screened for antibodies against Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), hepatitis B Virus (HBV) and Hepatits C Virus (HCV) using the principle of lateral flow chromatographic immunoassay. HBV screening test carried out using Onsite HBs Ag rapid test Dip-strip (plasma) by Nantong Economy and Technology Development Zone, China. While HCV screening was done using HCV Ab plus rapid test strip (plasma) by Nantong Economy and Technology Development Zone, China. And HIV screening carried out using onsite HIV 1/2 Ab plus Combo Rapid Test by CTK Biotech, Inc. United State of America.
Results: The sero-prevalence of HIV, HBV and HCV was 1.0%, 11.1%, and 4.0% respectively of the 99 prisoners screened. None of the prisoners practice homosexuality. The age 18-35 years were mostly affected. Seroprevalence of HBV among the prisoners (11.1%) was high.
Conclusion: This study indicates a high prevalence of seroprevalence of HIV, HBV, and HCV among prisoners. There is need for prison-focused intervention initiatives in Nigeria including awareness programmes about these infections. Resources for testing and treatment of prisoners should be provided. Care providers for prisoners should be empowered to protect the privacy and confidential health care information about prisoners to prevent stigmatization.