Original Research

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

Neil K. Morris, Lorraine du Toit-Prinsloo, Lynne Webber, Gert Saayman
Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine | Vol 17, No 1 | a424 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhivmed.v17i1.424 | © 2016 Neil K. Morris, Lorraine du Toit-Prinsloo, Lynne Webber, Gert Saayman | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 September 2015 | Published: 31 May 2016

About the author(s)

Neil K. Morris, Department of Forensic Medicine, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Lorraine du Toit-Prinsloo, Department of Forensic Medicine, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Lynne Webber, Department Medical Virology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Gert Saayman, Department of Forensic Medicine, University of Pretoria, South Africa


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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.

Keywords: Sudden; Unexplained and unexpected death; Post mortem; HIV; Mortuary; Pretoria; South Africa


Keywords

Sudden; Unexplained and unexpected death; Post mortem; HIV; Mortuary; Pretoria; South Africa

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