Objective: To determine the seroprevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B and C viruses (HBV, HCV), and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) in the tribal population of central India.
Methods: A community-based cross-sectional survey was carried out in the tribal population of Jabalpur district. Blood samples were drawn from 326 patients with sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and 526 randomly selected adults. These were tested for HIV, HBV, HCV, and HSV-2 using commercial ELISA kits.
Results: The prevalence of IgG antibodies to HSV-2 was 20.8% in STI patients compared to 12.4% in the general population. The HBV carriage rate was 3.4% in STI patients against 2.9% in the general population. HCV prevalence was 3.9% in STI patients and 4.6% in the general population. No HIV infection was found in the study population.
Conclusions: In view of the high prevalence of viral STIs in the tribal community of Central India, there is a need to strengthen the STI control program in this under-privileged group.