DEVELOPING COHORTS FOR HIV VACCINE TRIALS IN A RURAL AREA OF CAMEROON: CASE STUDY OF LEBIALEM DIVISION

A.P. Njukeng, J. Nwobegahay, N. S. Nwobah

Abstract


 Identifying an appropriate population for HIV Vaccine clinical trials is currently a major challenge to HIV vaccine clinical site preparedness. A cross sectional hospital-based HIV prevalence survey was carried out in four clinics in Lebialem Division, to ascertain the suitability of this population for HIV vaccine trials.  A questionnaire was administered to 1037 participants (age >15), and 5 ml of blood collected, sera separated and screened against HIV-1 and HIV-2 using a parallel testing algorithm with Determine and STAP-PAK as main  test  kits and Oraquick as tie-breaker.

The prevalence of HIV varied in the four clinics with Lewoh health unit having the highest HIV prevalence (13.8%), followed by Mary Health of Africa (11.2%), Menji (8.4%) and lastly Azi (3.0). HIV prevalence among women in general was 11.4%, while men and pregnant women had 10.2% and 5% respectively.  Of the 108 sero-positive samples, 34 (31%) were from the 18-27 and 36 (33.3%) from the 28-37 age groups.  It decreased with increase in age as only 2 samples were positive for those who were > 68 years old. There was a significant difference in HIV prevalence by occupation. The prevalence was significantly higher (P<0.001) among traders (48.60%), and civil servants (22.82%) compared with the farming population (4.30%), and students (8.60%).

Though the HIV prevalence in Lebialem Division is high, making it a suitable population to explore for developing cohorts for vaccine trials, further studies that should look at HIV incidence among this population are recommendation.


Keywords


HIV Seroprevalence, rural area, Cameroon.

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