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Paper Information

Journal:   ARCHIVES OF IRANIAN MEDICINE   January 2004 , Volume 7 , Number 1; Page(s) 20 To 22.
 
Paper: 

HIGH PREVALENCE OF HBV, HCV, AND HIV INFECTIONS IN GYPSY POPULATION RESIDING IN SHAHR-E-KORD

 
 
Author(s):  HOSSEINIASL S., AVIZHGAN M.*, MOHAMMADNEZHAD M.
 
* DEPARTEMENT OF INFECTIOUS AND TROPICAL DISEASES, SHAHR-E-KORD UNIVERSITY OF MEDICAL SCIENCES, SHAHR-E-KORD
 
Abstract: 
BACKGROUND-Gypsies are the groups of people who are not dependent on any special location. Because of permanent immigration, poor socioeconomic status and the special life style, gypsies might be exposed to multiple sexual partners, addiction and various kinds of infections, like hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of these infections in gypsies of South-West of Iran (Shahr-e-Kord).
MATERIALS AND METHODS-This study was done in Sureshjan Pass near Shahr-e-Kord. Out of 250 gypsies, 226 of them were recruited into the study. Laboratory tests for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBs Ag), hepatitis B core antibody (HBc Ab), hepatitis C virus antibody (HCV Ab), and human immunodeficiency virus antibody (HIV Ab) were performed in the study population. All sera with positive results of HBs Ag or HBc Ab were tested again for these markers together with HBs Ab, HBs Ag, and HBe Ab. Also sera with positive HIV Ab were retested with immunoblot assay.
RESULTS-A total of 226 persons (103 males, 123 females) with a mean age of 20.7 years (range: 9 months to 78 years) were recruited. Thirty-five subjects (18, or 15.5 % male) had positive HBs Ag. Fifty four persons (23.9%) had positive HBc Ab. Seven (4, or 3.1% male), had positive HCV Ab and 4 persons (2, or 1.8% male) were HIV positive.
CONCLUSION-Gypsies in Iran should be considered a high risk group for HBV, HCV and HIV infections. Vaccination against HBV should be considered for all non infected subjects, and health promotional activity should be planned in order to prevent further spread of these blood born infections among them.
 
Keyword(s): HEPATITIS C VIRUS, HEPATITIS B VIRUS, ACQUIRED IMMUNODEFICIENCY SYNDROME, GYPSY, PREVALENCE, IRAN
 
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