The prevalence of HIV in the sudden, unexplained and unexpected death population at the Pretoria Medico-Legal Laboratory

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 3
  • Abstract:

    PURPOSE : To determine the prevalence of HIV in the sudden, unexplained and unexpected (SUU) death population admitted to the Pretoria Medico-Legal Laboratory. METHODS : This study was conducted at the Pretoria Medico-Legal Laboratory. Blood samples were obtained from decedents who died suddenly and/or unexpectedly, during autopsy, by a forensic pathologist. Sample collection continued until 100 valid samples were analysed for HIV antibodies. The data collected included demographic details and case-related information. RESULTS AND CONCLUSION : SUU deaths accounted for 14% of all cases admitted to the Pretoria Medico-Legal Laboratory. The HIV prevalence in the SUU deaths was 43%, which is 17% higher than the general mortuary population in Pretoria ( p = 0.0045). The majority of these deaths were due to respiratory disease processes, with 12 cases having HIV/TB co-infection.