Abstract Background: Children suffering from beta thalassemia major, due to various genetic defects, have deficient synthesis of ▀ globin chain of Hemoglobin. This leads to severe anemia, general fatigue and debility asking for repeated or frequent blood transfusion. On the other hand repeated blood transfusions such expose them to dangerous infections such as HIV, HBV and HCV. Aim: The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of HIV, HBV and HCV infection among thalassemia major patients in an apex tertiary care hospital of Gujarat in west India. Materials and methods: Data were obtained from 100 ▀ thalassemia major patients attending thalassemia clinic for blood transfusion at regular interval in an apex tertiary care hospital of Gujarat between April 2008 and September 2008. Their laboratory results were subsequently analyzed. Results: Out of 100 patients 65 and 35 were male and female respectively. 18 (18%) patients were found Anti HCV Ab positive, 6 (6%) were found HBsAg positive and 9(9%) patients were Anti HIV 1 and or 2 Ab positive. Older age, more number of transfusions were associated with increased chances of the test to come positive suggestive of infection with respective virus. Completion of vaccination against HBV, completely or partially, was associated with less chances getting infection with HBV Conclusion: The prevalence of HCV infection is much higher compared to HBV and HIV infection due to possibly infected blood transfusion among thalassemia major patients. Screening of Anti HCV Ab detection with highly sensitive and specific test for donated blood is mandatory. Techniques like P24 Antigen detection or RT-PCR should be introduced to shorten the window period for detection of HIV infected donated blood. [Bhavsar et al. NJIRM 2011; 2(3) : 47-50]
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