Estimating infectious disease in UK asylum seekers and refugees: a systematic review of prevalence studies

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Five studies were identified for variable prevalence rates for TB, hepatitis B and HIV in asylum seekers in the UK. It was unclear if the reported rates were true risk variation or reflected methodological differences.

The prevalence of TB ranged from 1.33 to 10.42 per 1000 (three studies). The prevalence of Hepatitis B ranged from 57 to 118 per 1000 (three studies). The prevalence rate for HIV of 38.19 per 1000 (one study). It was not possible to estimate a single prevalence figure for each disease due to the heterogeneity of the included studies. Studies varied considerably in their sampling frame, study design, sample size, measurement of outcomes and follow-up. High quality studies are required to improve the validity of prevalence findings and generalizability to comparable asylum seeker and refugee populations.

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