Original Research

Co-morbidity of HIV, Hepatitis B, and Syphilis, among victims of sexual assaults in Transkei region, South Africa

Banwari L. Meel
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 1, No 1 | a54 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v1i1.54 | © 2009 Banwari L. Meel | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 March 2009 | Published: 28 July 2009

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Banwari L. Meel, Walter Sisulu University, South Africa

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Background: The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), hepatitis B and syphilis have a common mode of transmission, which is through sexual intercourse. These are also transmitted percutaneously and by blood transfusion. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of HIV, hepatitis B and syphilis among victims of sexual assault by analysing serology results.

Method: This is a record review of victims of sexual assault who attended the Sinawe Centre (a clinic for victims of sexual assault) between January and December 2004.

Results: A total of 188 victims of sexual assault was reported. 35 (19.8%) tested HIV sero-positive. Hepatitis B antibodies were detected in seven (7.6%) and syphilis serology (RPR) was positive in five (2.9%). All were under 50 years of age, except one victim. Of the 35 who tested positive, 30 were below 30 years of age. Of those who were 30 years and younger, 12 were between 21 and 30 years old, 16 were between 11 and 20 years old and two were younger than 10. None was positive for all three tests. Two were positive for hepatitis B and HIV and two were positive for RPR and HIV.

Conclusion: No significant co-morbidity of HIV, hepatitis B or syphilis was observed in this study, even though these diseases have the same mode of transmission.


sexual assault; human immunodefi ciency virus (HIV); hepatitis antibodies; syphilis; rapid plasma regain antibodies


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