Medical Research

XI International Conference on AIDS
Vancouver, BC, July 7 - 12, 1996

Dubon J.M.*
Regional Hospital IHSS, San Pedro Sula, Honduras
Garcia Saiz A.
Centro de Biologia Celular, Madrid
Klaskala W., Baum M.K.
* Fogarty International Training Program
University of Miami, FL


Prevalence of HIV and HTLV Infections in Selective Ethnic Groups in Honduras


To determine the prevalence of HIV and HTLV infections in two different ethnic groups in Honduras: black Carribs (Garifunas)descendants of the African slaves and mestizo women.


A total of 114 serum samples were tested for HTLV antibodies using particle agglutination and ELISA; then confirmed by modified Western Blot (HTLV, Blot 2.3, Diagnostic Biotechnology) in order to distinguish between both HTLV types. Samples were also screened for antibodies to HIV using ELISA and Western Blot. In addition, syphilis serology was done and gonorrhea culture were taken.


During two months (Feb-March, 1994), 62 blood samples were obtained from black Carribs / Garifunas(66% women),living in a remote rural area on the Atlantic coast, and from 52 mestizo women, commercial sex workers(CSW), operating in San Pedro Sula, the most industrialized city in Honduras. Overall HIV prevalence rate was 13.4% among CSW and 0.3% in black Carribs. Slightly higher was HTLV seropositivity rate; 17.7% for HTLV-1 in black Carribs (2 males and 9 females) and 1.9% for HTLV-2 among mestizo, commercial sex workers (one person positive). Among HTLV-1 infected black Carribs two women were co-infected with HIV and one in addition, with syphilis.


The results indicate relatively high HTLV-1 prevalence in black Carribs (Garifunas) on the Atlantic coast of Honduras. It is important to continue this study in order to assess the trend in prevalence and mode of transmission of the HTLV in other ethnic and risk-behavior groups in Honduras in relation to HIV infection.

  • Jose Maria Dubon
    Dept. Epidemiology & Public Health
    University of Miami
    P.O. Box 016069, Miami, FL 33101
    Tel: +1 (305) 243-4072

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Created: July 16, 1996
Last modified: January 27, 2000
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