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Zambia: cases and investigations

Unexpected infections in children

1991-93: In 1991-93, WHO’s Global Programme on AIDS arranged for hospitals to test children aged 6-59 months (1/2 to 5 years old) admitted to pediatric care and their mothers in 4 cities in Africa: Kigali, Rwanda; Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; Kampala, Uganda; and Lusaka, Zambia. Out of 5,593 child-mother pairs, 61 (1.1%)  children were HIV-positive with HIV-negative mothers. Reports from this study do not give any breakdown by country. The authors conclude (incredibly!): “The risk of nosocomial and non-perinatally acquired HIV infection appears low among these populations.” This shows a double-standard for Africa; if 1% of inpatient Europeans had unexpected HIV infections, such a conclusion would be unacceptable. Source: Hitimana D, Luo-Mutti C, Madraa B, et al. A multicentre matched case control study of possible nosocomial HIV-1 transmission in infants and children in developing countries. 9th Int Conf AIDS, Berlin 6-11 June 1993. Abstract no. WS-C13-2.

Unexpected infections in adolescents and adults

1997-98: In a 1997-98 survey among young adults aged 15-24 years in Ndola city, 7.6% (8/106) of women who said they were virgins were HIV-positive vs 34.9% (119/341) of sexually active women. Among men who said they were virgins, 4.8% (3/63) were HIV-positive vs 10.4% (19/182) of sexually active men. The source that reports these data asserts that men and women “misreported their sexual activity.” Source: Buve A, Lagarde E, Carael M, et al. Interpreting sexual behavior data: validity issues in the multicentre study on factors determining the differential spread of HIV in four African cities. AIDS 2001; 15 (suppl 4): S117-S126. Abstract available at: (accessed 27 January 2012).

2007: Among young adults aged 15-24 years, a random sample national survey in 2007 found that 3.4% of women who said they were virgins were HIV-positive compared to 8.5% of all young adult women. Among young adult men, 3.5% of those who said they were virgins were HIV-positice vs. 6.5% of all young adult men. Source: Table 14.8 in: Central Statistical Office (CSO), Ministry of Health (MOH), Tropical Diseases Research Centre (TDRC), University of Zambia, and Macro International Inc. 2009. Zambia Demographic and Health Survey 2007. Calverton, Maryland, USA: CSO and Macro International Inc. Available at:[revised-05-12-2009].pdf (accessed 19 January 2012).

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