Infection with HIV, syphilis and hepatitis B in Ethiopia: A survey in blood donors

S. I. Rahlenbeck*, G. Yohannes, K. Molla, R. Reifen, A. Assefa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Sera of all male donors appearing at the blood bank of a regional hospital in Northwest Ethiopia in 1994 (n = 1022) and 1995 (n = 1164), were screened for the presence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) and treponemal antibodies. Additionally, screening for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) was carried out on 549 consecutive sera. In 1995, the crude seroprevalence of HIV-1 infection and syphilis was 16.7% and 12.8%. Seroprevalence of HBsAg was 14.4%. HIV and syphilis seroprevalence was highest in soldiers (30.6% and 20.9%) and daily workers (18.8% and 13.5%), and lowest in farmers (8% and 6.7%). However, farmers had the highest rate of HBsAg (18.8%). HIV-positive donors had an increased risk for being positive for syphilis antibodies (OR = 3.69, 95% CI = 2.69-4.96), but not for HBsAg (OR = 0.79, 95% CI = 0.36-1.67). The data indicate that (i) the HIV epidemic has not yet reached a plateau phase in Ethiopia, and (ii) the transmission and epidemiology of HBsAg in Ethiopia is different from that of HIV and syphilis.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)261-264
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of STD and AIDS
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Africa
  • HBsAg
  • HIV
  • blood donor
  • sexually transmitted diseases
  • syphilis


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