Background: The seroprevalence of hepatitis C varies substantially between countries and geographic regions. A better understanding of the seroprevalence of this disease, and the risk factors associated with seropositive status, supply data for the development of screening programs and provide insight into the transmission of the disease. The purpose of this investigation was to determine the seroprevalence of hepatitis C and associated risk factors in an urban population in Haiti. Methods: A prospective survey for hepatitis C antibodies was conducted among an urban outpatient population in Cap-Haïtien, Haiti, with a sample size of 500 subjects. An anonymous 12 question survey, with inquiries related to demographic characteristics and risk factors for HCV acquisition, was concomitantly administered with testing. These demographic and behavioral risk factors were correlated with HCV antibody status using univariate and multivariate tests. Results: The prevalence of positive HCV antibody was 22/500 (4.4%). Subjects that were anti-HCV positive had an average of 7 ± 8.6 lifetime sexual partners, compared to average of 2.5 ± 3.5 lifetime sexual partners among HCV-negative subjects (p = 0.02). In a multiple logistic regression model, intravenous drug use (OR 3.7, 1.52-9.03 95% CI) and number of sexual partners (OR 1.1, 1.04-1.20 95% CI) were independently associated with a positive HCV antibody result. Conclusions: A substantial number of subjects with HCV antibodies were detected in this population in Haiti. Further investigation into the correlation between the number of sexual partners and testing positive for hepatitis C antibodies is indicated.
ASJC Scopus subject areas