Indian J Sex Transm Dis Indian J Sex Transm Dis
Official Publication of the Indian Association for the Study of Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Indian J Sex Transm Dis
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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 99-103

Plasma folate studies in HIV-positive patients at the Lagos university teaching hospital, Nigeria

1 Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Surulere, Lagos, Nigeria
2 Department of Morbid Anatomy, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Surulere, Lagos, Nigeria
3 Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Surulere, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Osunkalu Vincent
Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, PMB 12003, Surulere, Lagos
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0253-7184.74995

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Introduction: In various studies globally, the prevalence of anemia in persons with HIV infection range from 10 to 20% at initial presentation, and anemia is diagnosed in 70 to 80% of these patients over the course of HIV disease. The etiology of anemia in this group of patients has not been fully established, thus a need to evaluate the role of plasma folate as a possible etiological factor. Objective: This study was set to determine plasma folate levels in newly diagnosed, treatment nave, HIV-positive patients, and relate this to other hematological changes. Materials and Methods: A total of 200 participants were recruited for this study, of which 100 were HIV positive, treatment naive patients who were recruited at the point of registration and 100 were HIV-negative subjects (controls). 5 ml of venous blood was collected and plasma extracted for folic acid estimation by HPLC. A full blood count, CD4 and Viral load were estimated. Results: Mean ages for control and study group were 38 ± 2.3 and 32 ± 1.7 years, respectively. Mean plasma folate concentration among the study group (5.04 μg/l) was significantly lower than that for the control group (15.89 μg/l; P = 0.0002). Prevalence of anemia among the study group was 72% (144 of 200), with a mean hemoglobin (Hb) concentration of 9.5 g/dl compared with mean Hb of 13.0 g/dl among the control group (P = 0.002). Plasma folate correlated positively with CD4 cell count (r = 0.304, P<0.05) and inversely with the viral load (r = -0.566; P<0.05). Conclusion: Plasma folate level is a predictor of anemia in early HIV infections.

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