Seroprevalence of HIV antibodies, Australia antigen and VDRL reactivity in Himachal Pradesh

Indian J Med Sci. 1991 Dec;45(12):332-5.


3000 subjects from four high risk groups--patients attending STD clinics, hospital personnel, blood donors and foreign nationals were screened for the presence of HIV antibodies HBsAg and VDRL reactivity. No evidence of HIV infection was found in Himachiali population. However, there of the 150 foreign nationals screened were found positive for HIV antibodies. Overall HBsAg positivity and VDRL reactivity was found to be 5.53 per cent and 9.07 per cent respectively. The importance of circumspected and unswerving machinery for the surveillance of HIV antibodies in the high risk population of the state is emphasised.

PIP: Between September 1987 and September 1990, health workers in Himachal Pradesh State in India collected serum samples from 1305 patients at sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinics, 1274 blood donors, 271 hospital staff handling blood products, and 150 foreigners to screen high-risk populations for reactivity to HIV, hepatitis B virus (HBV), and syphilis. Most of the samples were from males (2373 males vs. 626 females and 1 eunuch). None of the cases from India tested HIV positive, while 3 foreign national cases did. 2 of the foreign nationals were Canadian and the other was Kenyan. 2 foreigners tested positive for both HBV and HIV. Overall, 5.53% tested positive for HBV and 9.07% for syphilis. 9.4% of the Indian individuals tested positive for syphilis, which was higher than an earlier study in Himachal Pradesh. Most people who tested positive for HBV and syphilis were 21-30 years old. 2.14% of the STD patients tested positive for syphilis and HBV, while only 0.37% of hospital personnel. 0.67% of foreigners, and none of the blood donors did. STD patients also had the highest percentage of syphilis-positive (19.69%) and HBV-positive results (8.73%). HBV-positive incidence was about 3 times greater in people who also tested positive for syphilis. Since reactivity to syphilis was associated with poverty, poor hygiene, polyandry, polygamy, and illiteracy, citizens living in Himachal Pradesh were at great risk of acquiring HIV from a foreigner. Therefore, the microbiologists who examined these samples recommended more intensive and continuous screening of high-risk populations in Himachal Pradesh.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • HIV Seroprevalence*
  • Hepatitis B / epidemiology*
  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigens / blood
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Syphilis / epidemiology*
  • Syphilis Serodiagnosis


  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigens