Achangwa Chiara, Boock Alphonse
Background: The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a global issue still affecting many people in different communities and community-level interventions maybe helpful in population-focused HIV prevention. The pygmy populations’ traditional hunter-gather life style is observed to be changing. Because of the transformations of the traditional lifestyles of pygmies caused by agriculture and infrastructure projects, their health situation too is observed to be changing. Numerous findings on HIV have been reported in literature but to the best of our knowledge, very few studies on the prevalence of HIV in the Baka people in the Abong-Mbang district of Cameroon exist. The study had as main objective to determine the prevalence of HIV in the Baka and Bantou communities who live and interact together.
Method: A community based sero-epidemiologic survey of HIV infection was carried out. 529 people took part in the study. After pre-counselling, venous blood (3ml) was collected from each participant into an EDTA tube. Determine was used as the first-line test, Immunocomb® ELISA HIV-1/2 was used as a second line test and Western blotting was done as a confirmatory test. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 20 software package.
Results: The HIV prevalence in the Baka community was found to be 2.1 %. The HIV-prevalence in the Bantou community was 4.8 %. The age group 41-50 years had the highest HIV-prevalence (8.06 %). Life style factors that significantly affected the prevalence of HIV were; Knowledge about HIV, HIV prevention, and the presence of multiple sexual partners.
Conclusion: Contrary to the local believes of absence of HIV in the Baka population, HIV is shown to exist. Baka people’s knowledge about HIV/AIDS is limited. Educating on HIV prevention will be important to control the spread in the Baka community.PDF
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