Prevalence of Human Immunodeficiency Virus infection and associated factors among students at Bahir Dar University
Introduction: The peak incidence of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection occurs among young people aged 15-24 years. University students are vulnerable to HIV because of their age, living arrangement and lack of family supervision. However, there is scarcity of data on prevalence of HIV infection among university students in different parts of Ethiopia.
Objective: This study was conducted to determine the prevalence and risk factors of HIV infection among regular undergraduate students at Bahir Dar University.
Methods: A cross- sectional study was conducted on 817 students in Bahir Dar University from January to March 2013. Self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data on socio-demographic variables and behavioral factors. Whole blood samples were tested for the presence of antibody to HIV infection using National HIV rapid diagnostic tests algorithm. Regression analysis was computed to identify the independent risk factors.
Results: Overall, the sero-prevalence of HIV was 10 (1.2%) (95%CI:0.7-2.24%) where four of them were females (1.5%). The point prevalence was 4 (2%) and 5 (6.9%) among third year students and students who begun sex at the age of 10-17 years, respectively. Having sex after alcohol drinking (AOR=8.7, CI=1.26-60) and khat chewing (AOR=8.2, CI=1.1-62), watching pornography (AOR=13.5, CI=1.56 -117) and inconsistent use of condom (P=0.02) were the risk factors for HIV infection.
Conclusions: The prevalence of HIV infection among Bahir Dar University students is high. New infection among young people suggested that the disease is not under control yet in the country. Therefore, planning strategy to prevent the spread of HIV infection at university is critical. [Ethiop. J. Health Dev. 2014;28(3):170-177]