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01.12.2018 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

BMC Infectious Diseases 1/2018

Epidemiology of HIV, syphilis, and hepatitis B and C among manual cane cutters in low-income regions of Brazil

Zeitschrift:
BMC Infectious Diseases > Ausgabe 1/2018
Autoren:
Déborah Ferreira Noronha de Castro Rocha, Luana Rocha da Cunha Rosa, Carla de Almeida Silva, Brunna Rodrigues de Oliveira, Thaynara Lorrane Silva Martins, Regina Maria Bringel Martins, Marcos André de Matos, Megmar Aparecida dos Santos Carneiro, Juliana Pontes Soares, Ana Cristina de Oliveira e Silva, Márcia Maria de Souza, Robert L. Cook, Karlla Antonieta Amorim Caetano, Sheila Araujo Teles

Abstract

Background

In recent decades the epidemic of asymptomatic sexually transmitted infections has extended deep into Brazil, including small towns and rural areas. The purpose of this study was to investigate the epidemiology of HIV, syphilis, and hepatitis B (HBV) and hepatitis C viruses (HCV), and to evaluate immunization coverage against hepatitis B in a group of rural workers in Brazil.

Methods

In 2016, a cross-sectional study was conducted with 937 manual sugarcane cutters of the Midwest and Northeast Regions of Brazil. All individuals were interviewed and screened for HIV, syphilis, HBV and HCV. Correlating factors with lifetime HBV infection were investigated using logistic regression. Positive Predictive Values, Negative Predictive Values, sensitivity and specificity were also calculated relative to vaccination against Hepatitis B, comparing anti-HBs titers to vaccination reports.

Results

Most reported previous hospitalization (55%), occupational injuries (54%), sharing of personal items (45.8%), alcohol consumption (77.2%), multiple sexual partners in previous 12 months (39.8%), and no condom use during sexual intercourse in last 12 months (46.5%). Only 0.2% reported using injection drugs. Anti-HIV-1 was detected in three individuals (0.3%). Serological markers of lifetime syphilis (treponemal test) were detected in 2.5% (95% CI: 1.6–3.6) of participants, and active syphilis (treponemal test and VDRL) present in 1.2%. No samples were positive for anti-HCV. The prevalence of lifetime HBV infection (current or past infection) was 15.9%, and 0.7% (95% CI 0.4 to 1.5) were HBsAg-positive. Previous hospitalization (OR 1.53, CI 1.05–2.24, p < 0.01) and multiple sexual partners in the last 12 months (OR 1.80, CI 1.25–2.60, p < 0.01) were predictors for lifetime HBV infection. Although 46.7% (95% CI 43.4–49.9) of individuals reported having been vaccinated against hepatitis B, only 20.6% (95% CI 18.1–23.3) showed serological evidence of previous hepatitis B vaccination (positive for anti-HBs alone).

Conclusions

The high prevalence of syphilis and HBV compared to the general population and the high frequency of risk behaviors show the potential for sexual and parenteral dissemination of these agents in this rural population. In addition, the low frequency of hepatitis B vaccinated individuals suggests a need for improved vaccination services.
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