Background: Sickle cell anemia is a hereditary disease which manifests itself when present in homozygous state, it predisposes to risk of acquiring transfusion transmissible HIV infection through blood transfusion given to correct the associated victims' hemolytic anemia crises.
Method: One hundred and twenty sickle cell anemia patients; 41% males and 59% females' volunteers for this sera study. Volunteers' blood samples were tested for HIV antibodies using ELISA and biodata were obtained through questionnaire.
Results: 89.2% and 10.8% of volunteers were in age group ≤ 15 years and ≥ 16 years respectively. Prevalence rate 10% was recorded, 66.7% of infection occurred in age group ≤ 15 years while 33.3% 16 years. Prevalence between single and multiple transfused volunteers were 1.67% and 8.33%. At age ≤ 15 years 81.7% had multiple transfusion and 33.7% at age ≥ 16 years. Volunteers' age, place of residence, parent or guardian, educational status, risk awareness, type of care patronage, and number of transfusion were significantly related to HIV infection rate P < 0.05. Volunteers' sex was found to be a non-significant correlate of their infection risk P > 0.05. Data were analyzed using SPSS 11.0 by Scheffe's comparative ANOVA.
Conclusion: HIV transmission risk is significantly related to multiple transfusion in sickle cell patients studied. Government and NGO should prioritize the awareness campaign on importance of premarital screening of the disease and rationale use of safe blood for the management of sickle cell anemia patients.