Undiagnosed HIV cases in accident and emergency unit of a tertiary health institution in south east Nigeria

CN Ogbuagu, JKC Emejulu, RO Ofiaeli, EN Ogbuagu, ON Onyenekwe, VM Oguoma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: This study aimed at investigating the cases of Undiagnosed Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) amongst patients attending the Accident and Emergency (A&E) Unit of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH) to determine the prevalence and individual awareness of their sero-status. 

Method: Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) 1 and 2 screening was conducted on randomly selected conscious patients (mostly trauma) presenting to the Accident & Emmergency (A&E) unit of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH) using the STAT PAK™ (Chembio Diagnostic Systems Inc, USA) and Determine™ (Abbott Laboratories, IL, USA) kits for HIV 1 and 2, for a 6 month period, August 2008 - February 2009. Referrals were sent to the Virology Unit of the Health Institution for a further confirmation of the HIV 1 and 2 positive cases. Data accruing from the study was computed using SPSS Version 11.0. GraphPad StatMate™ 2.0 was used to calculate the Chi-square test using cross tabulations generated from SPSS. 

Results: Out of a total number 1497patients that presented in Accident and Emergency during the 6 month study period, 102 patients were randomly recruited for the study. Those positive for HIV were 24 (23.5%) while 78 (76.5%) were confirmed negative. The result shows that 17 (16.7%) males were positive for HIV which is higher than females 7 (6.9%). The age group 30 – 39 years had the highest number of positive cases of HIV 8 (7.8%) followed by 40 – 49 years 7 (6.9%); 20 – 29 years 5 (4.9%); 50 – 59 years 4 (3.9%); and finally with 60> years having no identified HIV positive case. 

Conclusion: Undiagnosed HIV infections constitute a significant proportion of Accident & Emergency Cases in our institution and thus a very important public health issue in Nigeria. The result of this finding has shown that a sizeable number of patients presenting in Accident & Emergency are HIV sero-positive and yet unaware of their status.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-242
Number of pages4
JournalReviews in Infection
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


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